The modern day co-op movement was founded in Rochdale, Lancashire in 1844. Since then, the co-operative model has spread across the world, impacting on the lives of over a billion people.
A global movement
From huge banks to Chilean beekeepers – there are 3 million co-ops of all types and sizes across the planet. You’ll find co-ops in more than 100 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and Oceania. There are international co-ops too, like the Pachamama Coffee Cooperative, which is owned and run by thousands of farmers from around the world.
The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) is the international body that unites, represents and serves co-ops worldwide – with 312 members from 109 countries.
The ICA created the Statement of Co-op Identity, which is accepted around the world as defining and guiding co-operatives. It contains a definition of a co-op, the values of co-operatives, and the seven co-operative principles.
The voice for co-ops in Europe is Cooperatives Europe. It brings together 84 member organisations that represent 176,000 co-ops with 141 million members and 4.7 million employees.
Across the UK
Co-operatives UK is the apex body for co-ops in the UK, and we represent Britain’s 7000 co-ops internationally.