July 1- International Day of Cooperatives


Brief History

The earliest record of a co-operative comes from Scotland on March 14, 1761. In 1844 a group of 28 artisans working in the cotton mills in north of England established the first modern co-operative business.

Facts & Figures

  • At least 12% of people on earth is a cooperator of any of the 3 million cooperatives on earth;
  • The 300 largest cooperatives or mutuals generate 2,146 billion USD in turnover while providing the services and infrastructure society needs to thrive;
  • Cooperatives contribute to the sustainable economic growth and stable, quality employment, providing jobs or work opportunities to 280 million people across the globe — 10% of the world’s employed population.

Cooperative Principles

  • Voluntary and Open Membership
  •  Democratic Member Control
  •  Member Economic Participation
  •  Autonomy and Independence
  •  Education, Training, and Information
  • Cooperation among Cooperatives
  • Concern for Community

Cooperatives Help Achieve the UN 2030 Agenda and SDGs

On 1 July, the cooperative movement celebrated the 2023 International Day of Cooperatives. United by the slogan Cooperatives for sustainable development, we will show how the cooperative way of working, inspired by the cooperative values and principles, has the accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of its DNA.

In September 2023, the international community marked the mid-point in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and sought ways to accelerate progress in the SDGs. It is thus a real key moment to demonstrate the contribution of cooperatives in advancing the achievement of the SDGs.

Being one of the world’s oldest and largest business networks, the cooperative movement was the first group of enterprises worldwide to endorse the SDGs and be recognised as a partner in achieving these goals.


UN System