Roberto Rodrigues from Brazil elected ICA President (1997)

This document has been made available in electronic
format by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
November 1997
(Source: ICA News, Issue No.5/6/1997)

Roberto Rodrigues from Brasil Elected as ICA President 

The ICA General Assembly unanimously elected Roberto Rodrigues of Brazil as ICA President
at the conclusion of its  business session on 16 September.  Mr. Rodrigues, 55, is the
first non-European, as well as the first representative from a sector other than consumer
co-operation, to hold the presidency during the ICA's 102-year history.

The President of the Organisation of Co-operatives of Brazil, Dejandir Dalpasquale,
officially nominated Mr. Rodrigues, describing him as a top leader in Brazilian
agricultural, co-operative, political, academic and media circles for more than two

In his acceptance speech, the new ICA President spoke of his gratitude to all who had
supported him, of his fear in dealing with the great challenges facing ICA and
co-operatives world-wide, and of his confident hope that co-operatives are the right
solution for today's challenges.  He said that he would continue the current direction of
ICA by emphasising four priorities: strengthening the co-operative identity,
strengthening and integrating the different economic sectors, fostering participation in

Mr. Rodrigues succeeds Graham Melmoth, chief executive of the Co-operative Wholesale
Society of the U.K., who did not seek re-election.  Mr. Melmoth was honoured at the
General Assembly for his distinguished service as ICA Board Member, first Chairman of ICA
Europe and 12th ICA President.

Profile of New ICA President

An agricultural producer, Roberto Rodrigues became president of his local sugarcane
planters' co-operative in 1973, and served two terms as President of the Organisation of
Co-operatives of Brazil from 1985-91.  In 1990 he founded and presided over EXIMCOOP,
which is now one of Brazil's five largest soybean exporters.  He subsequently served as
Minister of Agriculture of Sao Paulo State, and as President of the Brazilian Rural

Mr. Rodrigues has been a member of the ICA Board since 1992, Chairman of the ICA
Americas' region since 1993, and Chairman of the ICA Agriculture Committee from 1992-95.