Rural co-operative enterprises have proven in different economies and industries across the world that they, as value driven businesses, have a unique ability to build a better world. The co-operative challenge is how we can achieve more for the benefit of our members and their rural communities together than we can alone.
There is a rich tradition of co-operative enterprise in rural communities worldwide. From farmer co-operatives to rural electric co-operatives and credit unions, co-operatives have played a key role in helping rural people to improve their social and economic conditions.
Ireland is where the great co-operative pioneer Sir Horace Plunkett transformed the rural economy by helping communities to establish co-operative enterprises and credit facilities. The lessons of Ireland were used to influence co-operative development in theUnited Kingdom, theUnited Statesand many other countries worldwide.
This invitation only roundtable event which had the support of the International Co-operative Alliance was used to debate and discuss the impact and future of rural co-operation worldwide. The prestigious event was a unique opportunity to share knowledge and expertise with rural co-operators from across the world to inform the development of a plan for the future development of rural co-operatives worldwide – the Dunsany Declaration – which will be presented at the International Co-operative Congress in Manchester 2012.
Specifically the event:
- Brought international rural co-operative representatives together to discuss and debate the role and impact of rural co-operatives;
- Developed a plan for the future development of rural co-operatives internationally;
- Informed the development of the International Co-operative Alliance’s strategic priorities from 2012 onwards; and
- Created a network of individuals and organisations interested in the ongoing development of rural co-operatives.
The Dunsany Declaration, launched on October 16 2012 to coincide with World Food Day, can be downloaded in our news section.