Welcome to the International Co-operative Agricultural Organisation

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The Alliance

The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) is an independent, non-governmental organisation established in 1895 to unite, represent and serve co-operatives worldwide. It provides a global voice and forum for knowledge, expertise and co-ordinated action for and about co-operatives.

ICA's members are international and national co-operative organisations from all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, banking, consumer, fisheries, health, housing, insurance, and workers. ICA has members from one hundred countries, representing one billion individuals worldwide. One hundred million people work for a co-operative locally.

The ICA is the guardian of the co-operative identity, values and principles.


ICA raises awareness about co-operatives.
  • The ICA helps individuals, government authorities and regional and international institutions understand the co-operative model of enterprise. It channels specific information to institutions and the media showing the importance of co-operatives to a wide range of economic and social issues.
ICA is the voice of the co-operative movement.
  • The ICA acts as the custodian of cooperative values and principles around the world. It makes the case for co-operatives as businesses that use a distinctive values-based economic model that put people before profit. It also aims to demonstrate how co-operatives give individuals and communities an instrument of self-help and influence over their development.
ICA ensures that the right policy environment exists to enable co-operatives to grow and prosper.
  • The ICA helps its members in their lobbying for new legislation and more appropriate administrative procedures that respect the co-operative model, its values and principles. It provides political support as well as technical expertise to enable co-operatives to compete on a level playing field.
ICA provides its members with key contacts and information on best practice.
  • The ICA facilitates contacts between co-operatives for trading purposes and intelligence sharing in a wide range of areas. It organises meetings, workshops and individual meetings to address key issues affecting co-operatives and allows discussion among co-operators from around the world.
ICA provides technical assistance to co-operatives.
  • Through its development programmes at global and regional levels, ICA promotes capacity building, advice and financial support to the co-operative movement globally.

Vision & Mission

ICA Vision
  • To be prized as the organisation of reference which provides an effective and efficient global voice and forum for knowledge, expertise and co-ordinated action for and about co-operatives.
ICA Mission
  • The International Co-operative Alliance unites co-operatives worldwide.

    It is the custodian of co-operative values and principles and makes the case for their distinctive values-based economic business model which also provides individuals and communities with an instrument of self-help and influence over their development. The ICA advocates the interests and success of co-operatives, disseminates best practices and know-how, strengthens their capacity building and monitors their performance and progress over time.

Why join the Alliance?

As a member, you will gain from ICA's leadership in a number of areas and be entitled to a number of benefits.

The Alliance is the Forum for Inter-cooperation:
  • Develop business relationships and partnerships with ICA members
  • ICA Expo and trade fairs
  • Access to the ICA network
  • Connection to the global development network
The Alliance is the holder of Co-operative knowledge:
  • Access to the ICA network
  • Gain access to ICA as a resource for co-operative expertise, in particular co-operative statistics,information and intelligence
  • Participate in capacity building/training programmes
  • Exchange of information and technical documents
  • Receive and access information on co-operatives including regular publications
  • Access member only resources including the ICA Membership Directory, member only information releases, and global co-operative statistics as requested.
The Alliance represents the movement as its Global Voice:
  • ICA defines and promotes the co-operative difference with media and policy-makers
  • ICA represents the co-operative movement in multilateral organisations including the United Nations system, the International Accounting Standards Board, the European Union, and others.
  • Defence for the co-operative movement with national governments at the request of members
  • Participate in the governance of the ICA

To see what some of our current members have said about what ICA membership means for their organisation click here.

Click below to download the Membership Prospectus in English, French, German and Spanish.

Why should Agricultural co-operatives join the ICA?