Development Activities - Consumer Co-op Development (1997)

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This document has been made available in electronic format
by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
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February, 1997
(Source: ICA in Asia and the Pacific -Annual Report 1996)

			Consumer Co-operative Development
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The Focus
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The development objective of the Project to contribute to improve 
performance of consumer co-operatives at primary, secondary and 
national as well as international levels for better serviced to individual 
consumer members and their communities remained unchanged 
during the year. 

Exchange Programme
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The Project organized an exchange programme of women  leaders 
between Indonesia and Japan during the year. The objective of 
the Programme is to offer women leaders of Asia Pacific Region 
an opportunity to learn from the experiences of Japanese co-operatives 
and to arouse Japanese Co-operators' interest in the other 
countries and deepen the mutual understanding. Four women 
leaders who participated in the programme in July had an 
exposure to the store operations in consumer co-operatives
 in Tokyo and Kyoto and also exchanged their experiences
 in gender participation with co-op members through 
discussions. This programme has created an image for 
the consumer development programme of the ICA and 
the JCCU in Japan. 

Store Managers' Training
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While Singapore NTUC Fairprice assists other co-operatives 
in the Region, Fairprice  is given an opportunity for further 
learning from Japan under the ICAROAP Consumer 
Co-operative Development programme. Four Supermarket 
Executives from NTUC Fairprice had a training in Kobe, 
in July, hosted by Co-op Kobe. The report prepared 
by participants highlights several new techniques in 
display, pricing, accounting and personnel management 
which they will implement in their consumer stores. 

Strategic Planning in Consumer Co-operatives
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The Consumer Committee has identified that the  absence 
of a strategic planning is causing problems  in long range 
corporate development for consumer co-operatives and 
wiser investments. Therefore,  initiatives have been made 
during the year to conduct  some studies in consumer
co-operatives in selected  countries which will be the base 
for discussion at a  Regional Seminar and formulate strategies. 

Two preliminary studies have been undertaken  jointly by the 
Consumer Project and the JCCU in Thailand and Myanmar. 
The activity will continue in the next year.

Development of University Co-operatives
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During the year, the university co-operative sector  had a major 
development in many ways. In the case  of starting with new 
countries, India went ahead with the collection of data of widely 
scattered primary cooperatives which are hitherto unrelated. 
The Advisor facilitated a coordinators' meeting.  The project to 
organize a national seminar is on the way. 
	
Discussions have been in progress to introduce University 
Co-operatives to Vietnam.
	
The ICA University Co-operative Sub-committee  initiated 
a Regional Youth Seminar hosted by SNCF  Singapore which was 
held in November 1996. This  was the first time in the Region to 
organize such an event. 

185 participants participated at the 3 day Seminar. They were able 
to review the status of the university  co-operatives in 
9 countries and develop a long term  strategy for further
development. The participants have also created a vision for the future.

Development of Health Care Co-operatives
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During the year, the Project undertook a survey  of health care 
co-operatives in the Region in order to prepare a profile for the
purpose of consolidation them into a regional organization.
At least 12 countries in the Region are found to be having some 
form of  healthcare co-operative either user based, provider 
based or both. The findings were circulated at a meeting 
of the delegates from 5 countries held in November, 1996.

The second meeting of the health co-operatives in the Region 
was held in Mumbai, India on the 1st  November. The meeting 
was hosted by the Sushrusha  Citizens Co-operative Hospital. 
30 delegates from India, Nepal, South Korea, Sri Lanka 
and Japan participated in the meeting. 

The delegates decided to form a regional organization  and to launch
a exchange programme. The Interim  committee consisting of delegates
from India, Sri Lanka  and Japan was elected to draft the constitution 
and a work plan. The Consumer Advisor provided the model  constitution 
and participated at the deliberations at the  meetings. The interim
committee met in Colombo in  December to finalise the documents.

Consultancy Services
--------------------
The Consumer Project provided a two weeks  consultancy to consumer 
co-operative in Nepal  and provided guidelines for future improvements.
This was followed by a training seminar on store  management. 

The Project contributed to improve the conditions in consumer co
operatives in Vietnam through facilitating a national seminar on the
development of consumer  cooperatives in Vietnam organized by the
Vietnam Co-operative Union. A study was also undertaken in Hue.

The Consumer Advisor prepared a discussion paper on Sustainable 
Development and Co-operatives for the  forthcoming Ministers 
Conference and presented the  document at a Regional Consultation 
held in Myanmar  for the Chief Executives and the permanent 
Secretaries  of the Ministries dealing with co-operatives.  He also 
facilitated a Regional Workshop on Agri-business Co-operatives and 
Competitiveness held in Myanmar. 

Publications
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The Project published following Regional Seminar Reports:

*	 Regional Seminar on Development of Consumer Co-operatives 
	 held in India.

*    Regional Seminar on Campus/Youth Co-operatives held in 
	 Singapore.
    
In addition, one issue of Consumer Co-operative News has been published.

Perspective Planning
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As the current planning period is ending in 1996, the  Project undertook 
a survey of needs of the members through a questionnaire sent  to all 
member organizations. Based on their responses, a four year plan 
was prepared in consultation with the development partner, JCCU. 
This plan has been approved by the Committee meeting held in 
Malaysia, in June.

		Vision 2000 For Campus  Youth Co-operatives
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By the turn of the 21st Century, the Campus Youth Co-operatives 
will: 

- Improve the quality of services to their members by developing 
retailing industry with technological applications in computer
network, electronic data analysis, vending machines and 
tele-cards and introducing career development plans for members,

- Ensure the increase of membership by 50% from the current 
level by becoming more member-oriented and introducing awareness 
building programmes among student population.

- Expand the focus on wider services to the community by 
formulating long-term strategic planning for the development 
of youth co-operatives and the increased participation of 
youth in co-operatives, introducing co-operatives at the 
secondary schools, and promoting concerns such as environment,
handicapped persons' welfare and services for the disadvantaged 
in campus youth co-operatives.

- Promote inter-co-operative and inter-country alliances 
through setting up of joint purchase systems and business
alliances, youth exchange programmes, horizontal and 
vertical integration and networking.