JCCU conducts a Cooperative Identity Workshop


JCCU held the "Cooperative Identity Workshop" online on October 12, 2023.

This workshop was held to learn about and discuss the "Cooperatives Identity" in Japanese consumer co-ops, in response to the global call for discussions on the "Statement on the Cooperative Identity" by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA). A total of 118 cooperative members, officials, and staff from 53 organizations nationwide participated.

The term "Cooperative Identity" refers to the "ICA Statement on the Cooperative Identity" adopted by the ICA in 1995. This statement defines the identity, values and principles of cooperatives. It has been revised approximately every 30 years to reflect changes in the social and environmental context such as the worsening of climate change. It encourages a renewed focus on learning and understanding the "Cooperative Identity" and its application to organizations, business and activities, and advocates for periodic reviews and revisions if necessary.

The workshop began with a lecture on "Cooperative Identity" by YAMAKOSHI Akihiro, the Manager of the International Relations Department of JCCU, followed by group discussions.

In the group discussions, participants discussed their thoughts and feelings after reading the "Statement on the Cooperative Identity" and had lively discussions about what should be valued and what should be changed. Various topics were also discussed, including "peace and non-violence," "responsibility for the future," "environmental issues," "poverty issues," "gender," and "disaster prevention and reduction.

Participants expressed various opinions such as "Peace is a core value of Japanese consumer co-ops. The international cooperative movement should incorporate peace into the Statement as their identity" "Cooperatives should prioritize taking responsibility for the future society as a core value." "Cooperatives must actively promote initiatives to protect the global environment." and "In the context of democratic governance, it is crucial for cooperatives to acknowledge and incorporate minority opinions, even as they grow in size."

In closing remarks, FUTAMURA Chikako, the Executive Director of the JCCU, stated, 'The discussion on the Identity Statement is a cooperative effort to define our uniqueness. I hope that today's workshop will connect to discussions and learning in our respective co-ops."