The International Year of Cooperatives 2012 intended to raise public awareness of the invaluable contributions of cooperative enterprises to poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. The Year will also highlight the strengths of the cooperative business model as an alternative means of doing business and furthering socioeconomic development.

Cooperatives are business enterprises owned and controlled by the very members that they serve. Their member-driven nature is one of the most clearly differentiating factors of cooperative enterprises. This fact means that decisions made in cooperatives are balanced by the pursuit of profit, and the needs and interests of members and their communities. Cooperatives take many forms and operate in all sectors of society.

Together with the ILO International Training Centre in Turin, COOPAfrica has published a Project Design Manual

Copa-Cogeca is the united voice of farmers and agri-cooperatives in the EU. Together, they ensure that EU agriculture is sustainable, innovative and competitive, guaranteeing food security to half a billion people throughout Europe. Copa represents over 13 million farmers and their families whilst Cogeca represents the interests of 38,000 agricultural cooperatives.

Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (Ethiopia) is a small holder coffee growers owned cooperative union established in June 1, 1999 by 34 cooperatives with 22,691 farmers. Today there are 217 cooperatives with over 200,000 Members. OCFCU is a democratic member’s owned business. Members are the growers, processors and suppliers of high quality, organic Arabica coffee for the direct export.