As the year draws to a close, we here at NCBA CLUSA extend warm holiday wishes to our members and cooperators around the world. We appreciate your continued support and engagement as we continue to cooperatively build sustainable communities, promote economic opportunities and strengthen cooperatives here in the U.S. and around the world.
This past year marked our 100th anniversary of supporting cooperative businesses that build a better world. We celebrated this year by spotlighting our members in weekly co-op profiles, highlighting all of the good things co-ops do for communities across the nation and around the world. If you haven’t already, take a moment to explore our 100th anniversary website, ncbaclusa100.coop, where you’ll find an infographic co-op timeline, podcasts featuring leading cooperative experts and our weekly member profiles. Also at ncbaclusa100.coop are our in-depth op-eds—written by co-op thought leaders and published nationally—on topics that correspond with our monthly themes during 2016. We will continue this celebration through the early part of 2017, rounding out our celebration in March.
A highlight for us this year was the recent broadcast of a one-hour PBS documentary celebrating NCBA CLUSA’s 100th anniversary, called “In the Spirit of Cooperation.” This program, produced for public television by the Visionaries Series, focused on the cooperative business model in the U.S. and NCBA CLUSA’s cooperative law work in Mozambique and work with cooperative coffee farmers in East Timor. National broadcast dates can be found at www.ncbaclusa100.coop. We are pleased to report that through our members and partners there have been more than 80 screenings in 10 countries this year.
Throughout the year NCBA CLUSA has strategically aligned itself with the Cooperatives for a Better World initiative. We recognize our role as a leader in this partnership and have focused our efforts on facilitating and championing the cooperative business model to better position cooperatives for the next 100 years. We have done this by establishing the Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus and acting as a key member of the Interagency Working Group on Cooperative Development. These partnerships have elevated cooperative business interests across federal agencies and both chambers of Congress. We look forward to continuing our advocacy work in 2017 to educate and inform lawmakers on the powerful impact cooperatives have on the U.S. economy.
Impacting families and communities across 26 projects in 20 countries, NCBA CLUSA’s international work continues to engage hundreds of thousands of people and provides the opportunity to use the cooperative business model to create vital market linkages that connect small communities with the world economic engine.
As the United States inaugurates a new president next month, there is a sense of uncertainty about what direction our country will go, what impact it will have on cooperative businesses and the outcome of priorities for international engagement. We can’t know the future, but we can say that our work is needed now more than ever.
We look forward to an exciting 2017, filled with collaboration, partnerships and opportunities to listen to the needs of our communities, learn and apply best practices, and lead the conversation on the benefits of cooperative living. On behalf of the NCBA CLUSA team, thank you again for your support and best wishes for the New Year!
President & CEO