Consumer Co-operatives Worldwide (CCW)

CCW Speaks Consumer Co-ops in Central Asia Co-operative Forum

CCW Speaks Consumer Co-ops in Central Asia Co-operative Forum

CCW co-ogranised and took part in the Second International Forum on Development of Co-operatives in Central Asia, held between 11 and 14 September 2018 in Bishkek, Kygryzstan and hosted by Co-operative Union of Kyrgyzstan (CUK). The Forum was jointly organized by ICA Asia-Pacific Region and the Co-operative Union of Kyrgyzstan. The themes was “Promoting Enabling Environment and Advancing Co-operative Knowledge”.

The CCW delegation included: Illia Gorokhovskyi, PhD – Executive Committee member and Coop Ukraine Chairman; Peter Hunt – Managing Director of Mutuo (and partner in drafting the CCW Policy Guide); and Todor Ivanov, PhD – Secretary General.

Illia Gorochovsky took part in the opening ceremony of the Forum, with a congratulatory address on behalf of Petar Stefanov – CCW President. In the speech, he presented key CCW data and the Organisation’s main activities - seeking synergies between national members in various areas of interest: retail, legislation, services, logistics, IT, co-operative identity and communications. He stated the full readiness of CCW to collaborate with Co-operative Union of Kyrgyzstan (CUK), the government of Kyrgyzstan, and the ICA Asia-Pacific Regional Office to develop consumer co-operatives ​​in the country and across the region.

The other participants in the Opening Ceremony included: Nazik Beishenaly, President of CUK; high-ranking officials of the Kyrgyz Government – spokesperson of the government, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finance, Minister of Agriculture; Dr. Singh Yadav - Vice President of ICA Asia-Pacific Region and President of National Co-operative Union – India; Dr. Dorjee Kinlay - Director of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization Program for Kyrgyzstan; and Mr. Balu Iyer - Regional Director of Asia-Pacific Region. The keynote speech was provided by Dr. U.S. Awasti – Managing Director of IFFCO India.

Peter Hunt took part in the panel "Develop Linkage between Agriculture and Consumer Co-operatives" and presented the draft CCW Policy Guide, which is a strategic report with recommendations based on the results of the questionnaire sent to the members earlier this year:

  • (at national level) Improving public policies to protect the interests of consumer co-operatives;
  • (at national level) Improving co-operative legislation;
  • (internationally) Co-operation between national member organizations within the CCW by setting up internal working groups in the following areas: business innovation; public relations; new business activities; training co-operative members elected in managerial positions;
  • (internationally) Working with the World Cooperative Monitor to address the deficit of accurate data for consumer co-operatives;
  • (at national level) Establishment of lobbying plans.

The report prompted a strong interest on the part of the hosts – Co-operative Union of Kyrgyzstan, namely to develop consumer co-operatives. CUK is in a period during which they are seeking to build clear arguments for lobbying the government to optimize the national co-operative legislation.

The other rapporteurs included the Minister of Agriculture of Kyrgyzstan, Co-operative Union of Kyrgyzstan, the National Federation of Agricultural Co-operatives of the Republic of Korea and ZHANG Wangshu – International Affairs Director of the All-China Federation of Supply and Marketing Co-operatives (CHINA Coop).

Todor Ivanov moderated the session "Creating an Enabling Legal and Policy Environment", which saw the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture of Kyrgyzstan; Nazik Beishenaly – President of Co-operative Union of Kyrgyzstan; Hussein Polat - expert on ILO Recommendation 193; Prof. Hagen Henry - Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee of the ICA Board; Bermet Stakeeva - President of Kyrgyzstan Women's Forum and Mavluda Narbeeva - Chairman of the local co-operative "Yzar".

The session saw the presentation of the current Kyrgyz co-operative law and the potential for its optimization according to the needs and objectives of the Co-operative Union of Kyrgyzstan and their aims of developing the co-operative movement; Turkey's experience of introducing ILO Recommendation 193; the importance of co-operative legislation in the development of the national movement and the successful local experience of the co-operative model in promoting gender equality and bio-production.

CCW's participation in the Forum was very successful, considering the feedback and subsequent interest on behalf of the Co-operative Union of Kyrgyzstan in joint cooperating with the aim of developing consumer co-operatives in the country. The first step is for CCW to share existing best  practices and innovation from around national members. The concept of consumer co-operatives is relatively unknown in Kyrgyzstan, so there is a great interest in its successful development at the local level. CCW is also in discussions with the ICA Asia-Pacific Regional Office to develop mechanisms for working with national co-operative organizations in Central Asia and using the recommendations of the strategic CCW Policy Guide in promoting consumer co-operatives on national level and lobbying the governmental institutions. Kyrgyzstan could serve the pilot project.