Cooperative Timeline

1769-01-01 00:00:00

Fenwick Weavers Friendly Society

In Scotland, the Fenwick Weavers Friendly Society begins to sell select food items to its members, an early example of consumer cooperation.

1799-11-25 18:06:22

Robert Owen

Robert Owen (1771-1858), a businessman, and a pioneer of cooperative ideas begins to develop his ideas of “villages of cooperation”. His successors become some of the lead co-operators of their generation in the UK.

1831-11-11 00:17:26

The First Cooperative Congress

The first Cooperative Congress is organized by the Manchester Association for the Spread of Cooperative Knowledge is held in Manchester and chaired by Robert Owen.

1840-11-11 00:17:26

The Organization of Work

“The Organization of Work” by Louis Blanc defines the basis of the workers’ cooperatives.

1844-11-11 00:17:26

Equitable Pioneers of Rochdale Society

The Equitable Pioneers of Rochdale Society is established near Manchester, UK widely recognized as the beginning of the modern cooperative movement.

1862-11-11 00:17:26

Establishment of Raiffesen

Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch and Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen establish the first credit cooperatives in Germany.

1864-11-11 00:17:26

Karl Marx on Cooperatives

Karl Marx mentions the social value of the cooperative movement in his “Inaugural address of the International Working Men’s Association” delivered to the public meeting in London.

1869-11-11 00:17:26

The First UK Cooperative Congress

The first of the modern series of UK Cooperative Congresses is held to bring cooperatives together and exchange ideas and good practice. This leads to the formation of the Cooperative Union in Manchester, UK.

1882-11-11 00:17:26

Cooperative Productive Federation

The Cooperative Productive Federation is formed in the UK to promote self-employment and support producers’ cooperatives.

1886-11-11 00:17:26

School of Nîmes is Established

School of Nîmes intellectual center for the cooperative development is founded. It is later supported by Jean Jaurès and Albert Thomas, the first Director of the International Labour Office (ILO).

1895-11-11 00:17:26

The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) is founded

The ICA is founded in London, England on 19 August 1895 during the 1st Alliance Co-operative Congress. In attendance are delegates from cooperatives of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Holland, India, Italy, Serbia,Switzerland and the USA. Representatives establish the Alliance's aims as providing information, defining and defending the Cooperative Principles and developing international trade.

1900-11-11 00:17:26

La Coopération by Charles Gide

“La Coopération” is published by Charles Gide (1847-1932). He gives the cooperative idea a new interpretation in France by elevating the principle of solidarity to a socio-political programme for which he claims universal validity. Charles Gide has often been referred to as a “maître” of Albert Thomas. La Caisse de Lévis is formed by Alphonse Desjardins in Canada, the first credit cooperative in North America.

1919-01-01 00:00:00

ICA Proposes Cooperative Representatives

Henry May, General Secretary of the ICA, writes to the ILO Director Albert Thomas suggesting that the ILO should have also representatives of cooperatives among its constituents, in order “to close a gap in the ILO’s constitution”.

1919-11-11 00:17:26

Horace Plunkett Foundation Established

The Horace Plunkett Foundation is established in London, UK. Initially devoted to cooperative development in Ireland and the UK, it becomes a source of intellectual and technical support for emerging cooperative movements worldwide. The UK Cooperative College is formed in Manchester to provide higher education to learners from the UK and internationally.

1920-01-01 00:00:00

ILO Sets Up Cooperative Service

The Cooperative Service is created within the ILO as an international centre for cooperative research, documentation, information and advice as well as liaising with cooperative organizations.

1920-09-30 23:44:06

International Directory of Cooperative Organizations

ILO publishes 13 editions of the "International Directory of Cooperative Organization" from 1920 to 1988, listing the major cooperative organizations in the world.

1921-01-01 00:00:00

Report on the International Cooperation

Albert Thomas, as ILO Director, presents a report on the politics of international cooperation at the 10th ICA Congress in Basel.

1923-01-01 00:00:00

Correspondence Committee of Co-operation is Created

The Correspondence Committee of Co-operation, consisting of cooperative experts appointed by national cooperative organizations, is set up in the ILO headquarters in Geneva.

1923-11-11 00:17:26

International Day of Cooperatives

ICA declares the first Saturday in July as the International Day of Cooperatives to commemorate and celebrate cooperative principles and the cooperative movement worldwide. Since then an issue is selected each year allowing for reflections on cooperatives’ contributions.

1924-01-01 00:00:00

Publication of the first issue of the ILO “Co-operative Information”

The first issue of ILO “Co-operative Information” is published. Albert Thomas creates the International Committee on Inter-Cooperative Relations in order to give impetus to and influence the international cooperative movement.

1924-11-11 00:17:26

11th Congress of the ICA

The 11th Congress of the ICA in Ghent, Belgium discusses the report on "The Relations between the Different Forms of Cooperation" presented by Albert Thomas (Thomas Report) as well as the cooperative neutrality in politics and religion. The Congress adopts the “Rainbow Flag” as an official ensign of its commitment to internationalism.

1927-11-11 00:17:26

12th Congress of the ICA

The fundamental unity of the cooperative movement, inter-cooperative relations, cooperation and socialism are the main topics at the 12th Congress of the ICA held in Stockholm, Sweden.

1931-01-01 00:00:00

International Committee on Inter-Cooperative Relations

The Correspondence Committee of the ILO becomes the International Committee on Inter-Cooperative Relations.

1937-10-03 14:08:10

ICA Publishes Cooperative Statistic

The ICA publishes the Statistical Tables covering years 1933-1935 in "Statistiques des organisations nationales affiliées".

1937-11-11 00:17:26

15th Congress of the ICA

At its 15th Congress in Paris, France, the ICA discusses cooperative principles and the role of cooperatives in different economic systems.

1937-11-21 18:44:10

Cooperative Technical Cooperation Starts

The first cooperative technical assistance mission is undertaken by ILO staff to Morocco at the request of the Moroccan Government.

1939-10-03 14:08:10

ILO Releases Cooperative Statistics in the International Labour Review

ILO publishes a number of statistical tables on primary cooperative organizations in the International Labour Review, Vol. XL, No.2 and 3.

1939-10-03 14:08:10

The Diversity of Co-operative Societies and their Classification

ILO introduces an article by Dr G. Fauquet "The Diversity of Co-operative Societies and their Classification" in the International Labour Review, Vol. XXXIX, No.4, April 1939. Georges Fauquet is the chief of the Cooperative Service from 1920-1932.

1942-02-17 16:08:54

Congress on the air

In collaboration with the Cooperative League of the USA and the World Wide Broadcasting Foundation, the ILO Cooperative Service organizes a congress on the air allowing for leading cooperators of the Western Hemisphere to address a Pan-American audience via radio sharing their achievements, problems and hopes.

1943-02-17 16:08:54

Cooperatives in post war economy

The ILO Cooperative Service initiates an international inquiry for the purpose of defining the role of cooperatives in war time and post war economy.

1943-11-11 00:17:26

UN Food and Agricultural Conference

The UN Food and Agricultural Conference that meets at Hot Springs (Virginia, USA) envisages a substantial role for cooperatives in economic and social development and stresses the role that credit cooperatives could play in reducing peasant indebtedness.

1944-02-17 16:08:54

26th session of the International Labour Conference

The 26th session of the International Labour Conference (ILC), held in Philadelphia, adopts ILO Recommendation No. 70 “Social Policy in Dependent Territories”. Section 14 “Cooperative Organizations”, article 45, of the Recommendation stresses the national development of cooperatives. A decision is taken to set up a representative committee to act as a link between the ILO and the cooperative movement and to admit representatives of international cooperative organisations to the Conference, regularly, as observers.

1945-11-11 00:17:26

FAO is Founded

The ICA convenes a conference in London to reestablish cooperative contacts after World War II. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is created. FAO provides support to agricultural cooperatives through research and technical assistance.

1946-02-17 16:08:54

ILO Advisory Committee on Cooperation is Established

The ILO Advisory Committee on Cooperation is established. The Committee is discontinued in 1953 leaving a heritage of useful resolutions and consultations on cooperative development. Cooperatives are mentioned in the amended ILO Constitution, Article 12, Paragraph 3 indicating that “The International Labour Organisation may make suitable arrangements for such consultation as it may think desirable with recognized non-governmental international organisations, including international organisations of employers, workers, agriculturists and cooperators”.

1946-11-11 00:17:26

UNESCO is Founded

The ICA gains consultative status with the UN.The Colonial Office of the British government publishes "A Model Cooperative Society Ordinance" for use in its colonies. The newly established UNESCO stresses the role of cooperatives for the promotion of education and literacy.

1947-02-17 16:08:54


Cooperative issues are covered by a cooperation agreement signed in 1947 between FAO and ILO.

1948-02-17 16:08:54

New ICA Status

The ICA gains consultative status at the International Labour Organization.

1950-11-11 00:17:26

The United Nations Enlarged Programme of Technical Assistance gives new impetus to cooperation with developing countries.

Between 1950 and 1958 the ILO run over 70 technical assistance projects in the field of cooperation, involving the services of a large number of experts and study grants.

1953-02-17 16:08:54

ILO Meeting on Cooperatives

The ILO Meeting of a Panel of Experts “Action of the ILO as regards cooperation, particularly as regards its practical activities” is held.

1954-11-11 00:17:26

ICA Congresses and Cooperative Development

The 19th ICA Congress in Paris discusses international cooperation and cooperative development in developing countries. The focus on international cooperation and cooperatives in developing countries continues at the 20th, 21st and 23rd Congresses of the ICA (in 1957, 1960 and 1966, respectively).

1955-02-17 16:08:54

Migrant workers and cooperatives

ILO Recommendation No. 100 on Protection of Migrant Workers in Underdeveloped Countries and Territories (para. 43 and 49), 1955, mentiones cooperatives as an option for the supply of consumer goods and of financial services for migrant workers.

1956-11-11 00:17:26

Cooperative Group of Mondragon

The development of the Cooperative Group of Mondragon begins, led by Father José Maria Arizmendiarrieta.

1959-11-11 00:17:26

The World Bank on Cooperative Development

The World Bank provides funding to support its first cooperative development project.

1962-02-17 16:08:54

ILO Cooperative Expert Meeting

An ILO Cooperative Experts Meeting in Geneva examines the trends and developments of the cooperative movement throughout the world.

1965-02-17 16:08:54

Role of Cooperatives in the Economic and Social Development of the Developing Countries

A first discussion of the report “Role of Cooperatives in the Economic and Social Development of the Developing Countries” is held at the 49th Session of the International Labour Conference.

1966-02-17 16:08:54

ILO Recommendation No. 127

A final discussion of the report “The Role of Cooperatives in the Economic and Social Development of Developing Countries” takes place. The 50th session of the ILC adopts Recommendation No. 127 concerning the Role of Cooperatives in the Economic and Social Development of Developing Countries.

1966-11-11 00:17:26

23rd ICA Congress

The 23rd ICA Congress in Vienna, Austria amends the fundamental principles of the cooperative movement in the interest of greater efficiency.

1968-12-09 23:20:25

UN General Assembly and Cooperative Development

The UN General Assembly adopts a resolution on the role of cooperatives in economic and social development. The resolution encourages the ILO, other interested UN agencies and the ICA to increase their assistance for developing countries.

1969-02-17 16:08:54

Fifty Years of Cooperative Development

The ILO's 50th Anniversary also marks the golden age of ILO technical cooperation in the cooperative field. Of all the funds allocated by the UNDP to the ILO, 15 per cent are spent on assistance to cooperative projects. More than 120 ILO cooperative experts work in nearly 70 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

1971-12-09 23:20:25

COPAC is founded

The Joint Committee for the Promotion of Agricultural Cooperatives is established by the ILO, FAO, ICA, International Federation of agricultural Producers (IFAP) and the International Federation of Plantation, Agricultural and Allied Workers (IFPAAW). In 1988 the name is changed to the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC).

Cooperative Timeline

Copy this timeline Login to copy this timeline 3d Game mode

Contact us

We'd love to hear from you. Please send questions or feedback to the below email addresses.

Before contacting us, you may wish to visit our FAQs page which has lots of useful info on Tiki-Toki.

We can be contacted by email at:

You can also follow us on twitter at

If you are having any problems with Tiki-Toki, please contact us as at:


Edit this timeline

Enter your name and the secret word given to you by the timeline's owner.

3-40 true Name must be at least three characters
3-40 true You need a secret word to edit this timeline

Checking details

Please check details and try again