IFAP Message for International Day of Coops (1996)

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   This document has been made available in electronic format  
            by the Committee for the Promotion and 
               Advancement of Cooperatives COPAC
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                      Message from the 
       International Federation of Agricultural Producers 
       on the 2nd UN International Day of Cooperatives and 
    74th International Cooperative Day, Saturday, 6 July 1996


The International Federation of Agricultural Producers
congratulates the International Co-operative Alliance for its
success in establishing International Cooperative Day as an event
to be celebrated every year. 

The United Nations' acceptance of the ICA's proposal for this day
is indeed an achievement for peoples' representative
organizations, who need their cooperatives and cooperative spirit
more than ever in the current contact of liberalisation.

This is a decade which favours increased incentives and
advantages to private business.  Restrictions to the flow of
capital among countries are being lifted.  Important economic and
technological forces are in play, with often unpredictable and
socially unacceptable results. 

On this International Cooperative Day, it is indeed a pleasure
to stress that broad membership based peoples organizations, such
as producer and consumer cooperatives, represent an economic
force which is not only strong and businesslike, but is a force
which is democratic and caring for the communities. 

As sister organizations, IFAP and ICA must never forget the scale
of economic force that they represent from grassroots to the
international level.  They need to be even closer to each other,
be even closer to their members and become an even stronger force
for the future. 

Indeed, as governments retreat from agriculture, more
responsibilities fall on farmers' organizations and farmers'
cooperatives.  Farmers' cooperatives must be enabled to take over
agricultural services previously run by the state.  Farmers'
cooperatives and farmers' financial institutions need to be
strong so as to enable farmers an easier access to financial
instruments and a greater proportion of value added in the food
chain.

The International Cooperative Day, above all, is about giving
people a chance, so that by organizing themselves they can make
the best use of market forces, and of the authority of
governments, in a cooperative spirit.   As the International
Federation of Agricultural Producers, we wish all cooperators
well and look forward to continued collaboration.