International Year of Cooperatives Launched— Get Your Story Out There

Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World." The International Year of Cooperatives is underway, after being officially launched in late October at the United Nations. Earlier, a unanimous General Assembly resolution had proclaimed 2012 as the focus of a worldwide campaign to tell the stories of cooperative enterprise and cooperatives building community. David Thompson was present at the U.N. event and in his report (page 8) looks ahead to other major cooperative conclaves.

What’s happening with cooperation among co-ops in your city and region? The year of cooperative education can lead to new members, new alliances, and new cooperatives. Every co-op in every locale can shape its own promotional campaign and seeks its own alliances with other cooperatives. International Year of Cooperatives stories and resources can be found at, sponsored by the National Cooperative Business Association.

A new website,, will be showcasing a different co-op success story in each of the 366 days in 2012. These stories will also be accessible from the international go-to site:, which will also feature a Global News Hub focused on cooperatives.

In the Connecticut River Valley, members of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) have joined cooperatives from several different sectors in establishing the Valley Cooperative Business Association to promote the region’s cooperatives ( Erbin Crowell, executive director of the NFCA, added, "In January, we will have an article on the International Year of Cooperatives in partnership with the New England Farmers Union in Farming Magazine, and are working to raise the profile of co-ops in upcoming regional conferences on food systems and the economy."

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