A glimpse from the Roundtable Discussion on Fairtrade with Cooperatives with Fairtrade-NAPP

In March 2016, ICA and the European Union signed a Framework Partnership Agreement (Europe Aid/150-053/C/ACT/Multi) to implement a multi-year, multi-country development program to benefit and advance cooperatives worldwide. “Cooperatives in Development – People-centered Businesses in Action (coops4dev🌍)”, was implemented by the four ICA regional offices (Africa, Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe), up till August 2021.

A virtual Roundtable Discussion on Fairtrade with Cooperatives was organised with the Fairtrade-NAPP to facilitate exchange between members of the ICA-AP and Fairtrade NAPP in Myanmar and stimulate collaboration among stakeholders to promote cooperatives and fairtrade. The discussion stressed that cooperatives must evolve, move past the challenges, focus on renewed strategies to build their resilience and ensure lasting recovery. In collaboration with CICOPA (International Organisation of Industrial and Service Cooperatives) and the JWCU, an Online Roundtable Discussion on Worker Cooperatives Legislation: Experiences from Japan was held to present experiences of worker cooperatives. Ms. Francesca Zaganelli, Membership Coordinator, CICOPA, made a presentation on the industrial and service cooperatives in Asia and Pacific region. Mr. Osamu Nakano, International Relations Director, JWCU, talked about the unanimous adoption of the worker cooperative law by the Diet in Japan on 4 December 2020 which will enable businesses to register as worker cooperatives.

A glimpse from the Roundtable Discussion on Fairtrade with Cooperatives with Fairtrade-NAPP

ICA-AP participated in the Consultation on the EU Regional Multi-annual Indicative Programme for Asia and Pacific (2021-27) organised by the Policy Forum on Development (PFD) with the European Commission (EC) and European External Action Service (EEAS) to capture the views of the multiple PFD stakeholders, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Local Authorities (LAs). In a Regional consultation meeting on Review and Finalization of the Regional Action Plan for Family Farming in South Asia – ICA-AP and the SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC) in collaboration with AFA and FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO RAP) officially launched the book, “United Nations Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF) 2019-2028: Regional Action Plan to Implement the UNDFF for Achieving the SDGs in South Asia.” The book was produced out of the first consultation in November 2020.

A glimpse from the Roundtable Discussion on Fairtrade with Cooperatives with Fairtrade-NAPP

On 30 September, #coops4dev celebrated the end of the Partnership with the European Union on international cooperative development. During five and a half years, #coops4dev has contributed to cementing the role of the cooperative model as a key international development actor. The joint work done by ICA global and regional offices has created a solid network of partners and stakeholders from the cooperative movement and the international development field working at global and local levels. To learn more about the #coops4dev activities, read the storybook.

ICA-AP had identified three strategic priorities: participation of cooperatives in achieving the SDGs, youth inclusion, and exploring work and ownership structures in cooperatives. The partnership helped strengthen ICA-AP in its capacity to promote the cooperative model in international development by acknowledging its structural benefits and impact on people’s livelihoods. It was an opportunity to ensure robust programme management and increase collaboration and synergies of the staff involved. ICA-AP contributed to a growing body of knowledge in cooperative development in the areas of legal frameworks, mapping, and research. The ICA-EU Project Asia and Pacific report gives a good summary of this journey!

The closing event gathered the #coops4dev’s team including staff and members from all ICA regions, who looked back on this journey and presented the main activities developed during the Partnership and discussed the future prospects. The event presented a conversation on the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships and the impact of the #coops4dev’s work on the cooperative movement and its contribution to economic, social, and environmental sustainability and justice.