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International Co-operative Alliance

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Title: International Co-operative Alliance  
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Subject: Rainbow flag, Co-operatives UK, Statement on the Co-operative Identity, European Association of Co-operative Banks, .coop
Collection: Cooperative Federations, Organisations Based in Geneva, Organizations Established in 1895
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International Co-operative Alliance

International Co-operative Alliance
Cooperative federation
Founded 1895 (1895)
Headquarters Geneva, Switzerland
Area served
Key people
Pauline Green, President
Members 272 national federations

The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) is a non-governmental co-operative federation or, more precisely, a co-operative union representing co-operatives and the co-operative movement worldwide. It was founded in 1895 to unite, represent and serve co-operatives worldwide. The Alliance maintains the internationally recognised definition of a co-operative in the Statement on the Co-operative Identity.[1] The ICA represents 272 co-operative federations and organisations in 94 countries (January 2014).

The Alliance provides a global voice and forum for knowledge, expertise and co-ordinated action for and about co-operatives. The members of the Alliance are international and national co-operative organisations from all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, banking, consumer, fisheries, health, housing, insurance, and workers. The Alliance has members from 100 countries, representing close to one billion individuals worldwide. Around one hundred million people work for a co-operative globally. Co-operatives are successful values based businesses owned by their members. Whether they are customers, employees or residents, the members get an equal say in the business and a share of the profits.

In 2006 the ICA published the first major index of the world's largest co-operative and mutual enterprises, the ICA Global 300,[2] which demonstrated the scale of the co-operative movement globally.

On the first Saturday of July each year, the ICA coordinates celebrations of International Co-operative Day.

In December 2009, the United Nations declared 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives.


  • Structure 1
    • ICA Regions 1.1
    • Sectoral Organisations 1.2
    • Thematic Committees 1.3
  • The flag 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The ICA consists of a 20-member governing board, a General Assembly, four regions (one each for Africa, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Americas), sectoral organisations and thematic committees.

ICA Regions

  • ICA Asia - Pacific
  • ICA Africa
  • Cooperatives Europe
  • ICA Americas

Sectoral Organisations

  • International Co-operative Agricultural Organisation (ICAO)
  • International Co-operative alliances
  • Consumer Co-operatives Worldwide (CCW)
  • International Co-operative Fisheries Organisation (ICFO)
  • International Health Co-operative Organisation (IHCO)
  • International Co-operative Housing Organisation (ICA Housing)
  • International Co-operative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF)


    See also

    In 2001 a new flag was adopted at the ICA General Assembly in Seoul, Korea, to avoid confusion with other rainbow flags, several of which had become very well known in the 20th century. The present flag shows the ICA seven-color logo on a white background. The logo depicts a quarter rainbow with a flock of stylized doves of peace scattering from the top and the letters ICA underneath. The rainbow has only six stripes (red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue) and the seventh color (purple) appears in the lettering under the rainbow. The flag exists in four different versions showing the ICA acronym in different languages (ACI in Spanish and French, IGB in German, and МКА in Russian).

    Current ICA flag (2014)
    (see the ICA website)

    ICA adopted its original rainbow flag in 1925, with the seven colors symbolizing unity in diversity and the power of light, enlightenment, and progress.[3]

    Former ICA flag (1925)

    The flag

    • Committee on Co-operative Research
    • Communications Committee
    • Human Resource Development Committee
    • Gender Equality Committee
    Thematic Committees
  • ^ Statement on the Co-operative Identity, 1995 version.
  • ^ ICA Global 300
  • ^ The ICA flag, ICA Weekly Digest, Vol. 1, Number 14, May 17, 2004.
  • External links

    • The International Co-operative Alliance
    • The ICA news aggregation website
    • The story of the ICA flag
    • List of Cooperative Societies
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