The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) was formed on or around this Day in 1895, and since 1927 has observed the first Saturday of July as International Day of Co-operatives to highlight the contribution that co-operatives make across the world. Cooperatives are people-centred enterprises owned, controlled and run by and for their members to realise their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations. Co-ops range from small-scale to multi-million dollar businesses in over 100 countries across the globe, employ more than 100 million people and have more than 800 million individual members. For further information visit the ICA website at: www.ica.coop.
Each year, International Day of Co-operatives has a different theme - to find out the annual theme, visit the UN International Day of Co-operatives web pages. Through co-operative systems people can work together to support themselves in moving out of poverty, rather than being dependent on aid, for example. Studying co-operatives can link in with issues of trade, business management and workers' rights. This collection of the stories of 12 cooperatives in different sectors and regions around the world illustrates how cooperatives can boost SDG12 by ensuring sustainable consumption and production of goods and services. Find out more about the history and global reach of co-operatives in our page on the International Year of Co-operatives 2012.