At the occasion of the Lyon Forum for a Responsible Globalisation (see above) the International Cooperative Alliance and the Rhone-Alpes Regional Union of Worker Cooperatives launched a listing of the top cooperative and mutual companies, called the “Global 300”.
It was underlined that those 300 companies had a combined turnover equal to Canada’s GDP, but that their contribution to society was not so much in terms of turnover, but, more importantly, in terms of added value, sustainable employment, innovation, local and regional development, and concrete responses to the socio-economic needs of the local communities, with a membership of millions of ordinary people.
CICOPA President Javier Salaberria illustrated the example of Mondragon Corporacion Cooperativa where he comes from (number 10 on the list), an economic reality which has grown from one industrial SME of 25 workers in 1956 to an internationalised enterprise group, number one in the Basque Autonomous Region and number seven in Spain, with a turnover of 12 billion €, a workforce of over 80 000 workers (with no delocalizations from Spain but net job creation both in Spain and dozens of other countries), a presence in various industrial sectors (such as white goods, electronics, machine tools, furniture etc), distribution and financial services, complete with a university, several industrial innovation centres, and a development district in partnership with the regional government. This information could be found, among others, on the headlines of the economy pages of the French national newspaper Le Figaro, on the following day.
International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and
Service Producers' Cooperatives
Secretariat: C/O European Cooperative House - avenue Milcamps 105
1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 543 1033, fax: +32 2 543 1037