72nd International Co-operative Day

    This document has been made available in electronic format
         by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA 
                         June 1994

          72nd International Co-operative Day
               (Saturday, 2 July, 1994)
     Message from the International Co-operative Alliance
        The 150th Anniversary of the Rochdale Pioneers

This year the British Co-operative Movement is celebrating the
150th Anniversary of the Rochdale Pioneers, whose great
achievements were establishing the first successful consumer
co-operative society and laying down the Principles by which
Co-operatives should be governed.

Today 700 million people around the world share the co-
operative legacy of the 28 founders of the Rochdale Equitable
Pioneers Society. The co-operative movement has spread from 28
consumers in a small town in the North of England, who joined
together in 1844 in order to have access to unadulterated
goods at fair prices, to include more than one million co-
operative societies of all sizes, in all sectors of the
economy, and in more than 100 countries worldwide.

The world is now going through a period of rapid change which
often has far-reaching effects on individual men, women and
children. The social and cultural dimension of co-operatives
profoundly influences the way changes affect our society. This
is because co-operatives empower individuals by giving them
the chance to shape and implement decisions which have an
impact on their everyday lives, thus involving them directly
in the search for solutions to their economic and social

The ICA recognises that it is only through mutual understand,
co-operation and coexistence that world peace, and thus
healthy economic and social development will be globally
possible. All member co-operatives of the ICA have pledged to
co-operate actively in every practical way with other Co-
operatives at local, national and international levels, aiming
to achieve unity of action by co-operators throughout the

While the history of the Rochdale Pioneers will certainly
never be forgotten, the future challenge for co-operators is
to reach a new and wider audience with the Co-operative
message of ordinary people improving their prospects and those
of the whole mankind, by working together co-operatively.

The International Co-operative Alliance calls on its more than
700,000,000 individual members worldwide to use the occasion
of the 150th anniversary of the Rochdale Pioneers this year,
and the 100th anniversary of the International Co-operative
Alliance in 1995, as an opportunity to gain maximum publicity
for our movement, for our present achievements and, more
importantly, to promote greater understanding of our future