Co-operatives and Food Security (1996)

    This document has been made available in electronic format
         by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA 
                         December, 1996

               (Source: ICA News, Issue No.6, 1996, pp.1)

                    Co-operatives and Food Security

ICA was able to present the views of the co-operative 
movement to the World Food Summit in November in Rome, Italy,
with invaluable assistance from the International Agricultural
Co-operative Organization. After having provided input to
the preparatory meetings, ICA presented its final statement to
the World Food Summit highlighting the contribution of
co-operatives to the production and distribution of food, but
most importantly the role of co-operatives in providing the
income and employment that are essential to food security.  

The ICA also forged partnerships with other organizations in
order to ensure that the important role of co-operatives to food
security was highlighted. A joint statement of the Agri-Food
Sector emphasized that food production, its distribution and the
raw materials necessary for feeding the world were core concerns
for the private sector - i.e all business elements in the food
chain - from the individual and family farms, via co-operative
enterprises right through to multi-national corporations. 

Both the ICA and the private sector statements were circulated
to the delegates of the World Summit. Copies are available from
the ICA Secretariat.

The outcome of the Summit was the Rome Declaration and Plan of
Action. It recognizes "the fundamental role of farmers, fishers,
foresters, indigenous people and their communities, and all other
people involved in the food sector, and of their organizations,
supported by effective research and extension, in attaining food
security". It further identifies specific areas where there is
a need for dialogue and more importantly partnerships between
government and farmers (fishers and foresters) and their
representative organizations with two specific paragraphs
dedicated to the role of co-operatives.

ICA and the ICAO are already discussing the follow-up to the
Summit and will continue to work with their new partners to
further contribute to ensuring that people have sufficient

The Rome Declaration and Plan of Action is available on the
Internet ( or from the
FAO, via delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy.