As people-oriented enterprises that base their economic activities on values, co-operatives play an important role in creating decent jobs and strengthening local communities socially and economically. This year is a particular milestone for consumer coops, as we also celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the Rochdale Pioneers, where our global family started its successful path through responsibility and commitment to working class people.
As cooperatives, we are responsible for providing 10% of the world's employment. Beyond these numbers, different studies have confirmed that – in comparison with employment in other sectors – cooperative jobs:
- tend to be more sustainable over time
- have a smaller wage gap between the lowest and highest earners, and
- are more evenly distributed between rural and urban areas.
Due to the global cooperative movement's significant contribution to the world of work, the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) recently reaffirmed our century-long friendship with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) by signing, on 24 June 2019, a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster collaboration and the promotion of cooperatives as a sustainable business model to advance inclusive and sustainable development.