On June 2, JCCU in collaboration with the ICA-AP Consumer Committee hosted a webinar event, "ICA-AP Consumer Cooperative 2021 Webinar" with the theme of "Contribution to local communities." The purpose of the webinar was to encourage interaction among cooperative members through the online environment amid the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide an opportunity for co-operative members to reflect on cooperative identities in preparation for the 33rd World Cooperative Congress "Deepening our Cooperative Identity" to be held in December 2021.
With the support of many people, we successfully organized the webinar and had 183 people from 14 countries registering and the participation of 122 people. Although we had some technical problems, we managed to overcome them and had a fruitful webinar. We would like to thank everyone who participated and supported the webinar.
On the Webinar:
The event started with an opening remark by Mr. AMANO Haruyoshi, Chairperson of ICA-AP Consumer Committee, followed by a 4-minute video of Mr. Balasubramanian (Balu) IYER, Regional Director for ICA-AP. After the warm remarks, 4 speakers from ICA-AP member organizations gave presentations on the contributions of their co-ops to the local communities.
The first speaker was Mr. TANNO Junichi, the Director & Development and Sales Manager of Tohoku Cooperative Business Development Co., Ltd. a subsidiary of Miyagi Consumer Co-op in Japan. He talked about how their brand of "COCON-TOHOKU" products are supporting the reconstruction and the revitalization of the Tohoku region after the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011.
Taken turns, Ms. LEE Juhee, Int'l Team Manager of SAPENet Development Center in Korea introduced iCOOP Korea and its network organization, SAPENet Development Center. iCOOP is involved in a variety of initiatives with its members, including climate change countermeasures, production of eco-friendly packaging, Natural Dream Park, COVID-19 support activities, and disaster countermeasures.
The third speaker was Mr. Dudz SAMSON, Brand consultant for Victo National's C&S Co-op Supermart. Victo National is a federation of cooperative societies in the Philippines that provides a variety of services to its members and other customers. He reported on its modern grocery stores with photos and a video. Victo National is keeping its stores open under consumer and staff protection measures to provide daily necessities at reasonable prices to local people in the midst of the COVID-19. It also distributes free food and sanitary bags to support the local communities.
The last speaker was Mr. Surendra Shridhar KARHADE, General Manager of Sahakari Bandar. Sahakari Bandar is a consumer co-op in Maharashtra, India which is involved in various activities for the community, such as flood relief, tree planting, coastal cleanup, creating new materials such as school desks using Tetra pack waste, and COVID-19 prevention activities. He also showed us a letter from a woman who appreciated the activities of the co-op.
We also had a question and answer session. Several important questions and comments were raised by the participants. One of them was: Does the ICA-AP Consumer Committee play a role in facilitating trade among ICA-AP members? Another was how iCOOP manages its members' activities online, and what the difficulties in conducting online sessions are.
At the end of the session, a group photograph was taken with everyone smiling and it was announced that the second webinar would be held next September.