The first week of October we had the opportunity that Suara Cooperativa was invited as a speaker at the II International Summit of Cooperatives that took place in Quebec City in Canada. An invitation that highlights the prominent role that Suara has today at local, national and international level, as a cooperative model of care for people throughout their lives. On this occasion, we had the opportunity to contrast the global situation in the care of the needs arising from the aging of the population in developed countries.

More than 3,000 people from 93 different countries participated in this congress to discuss three major global challenges: food security, the employment crisis and access to health care and social services. This focused on exactly two of the areas in which Suara has been working for more than 25 years.

One of the first conclusions that one takes away from the congress is the great diversity and capacity of the cooperative movement.

A recent study was presented with data on cooperatives worldwide today:

  • 2.6 million cooperatives and mutuals
  • 1,000 million members and consumers
  • 250 million jobs
  • 12% of total employment in G20 countries
  • 3 billion dollars in annual turnover

Some of the debates held in the framework of the Summit are not new in our sector in Catalonia: the need for constant innovation, to be stronger to face with greater guarantees the challenges that today's society poses, to ensure a proper provision of services in the field of health and social services, where the person served is the center of the project. These objectives are clearly identified with the approach of Suara's partners in recent years.

However, it is also worth highlighting the most important future challenges on which the Suara cooperative, and the cooperative movement in general in Catalonia and Spain, should focus its efforts:

  • To advance in a more influential cooperative movement at all levels, taking into account its contribution to a fairer and more balanced society.
  • To bet on more innovative, stronger and more numerous cooperatives in order to better meet the needs of people and society.
  • Contribute to the sustainable development of the planet to ensure food security and the eradication of poverty.
  • The creation of quality jobs and the reduction of job insecurity among the most vulnerable groups.
  • Ensuring access to quality services in the field of health and social services that take into account the capabilities and needs of people.

It is for these reasons that the cooperative movement, and Suara as part of it, has to reaffirm its work from the local level to contribute at the global level to the commitments of cooperatives and the social economy at the general level, contributing to a more humane, more equitable and more inclusive world economy that ensures sustainable development.

More information:
International Summit Declaration of Cooperatives 2014

Sergi Morales. Director of Expansion of Suara Cooperativa