International Day of Cooperatives - First Saturday in July
(Last Updated On: May 9, 2022)


Every year on the first Saturday of July, the International Day of Cooperatives celebrates the cooperative movement. The day also highlights the complementary goals, objectives, and contributions of cooperatives around the world.

Cooperatives are organizations established to purchase and market the products of its members. Also known as co-ops, theses associations of persons unite to meet common economic, social, and cultural needs.

The oldest cooperative was formed in Scotland in 1761. In 1895, the International Cooperative Alliance (IAC) was founded. Today, there are 3 million cooperatives in the world. The six main types of cooperatives include producer, worker, consumer, credit unions, purchasing, and social.

Cooperatives offer many benefits to its members and surrounding communities. Some of those benefits include:

  • Helping to tackle poverty and create food security
  • Providing more affordable finance options
  • Developing and passing on business expertise
  • Contributing to sustainable economic growth

Beyond these benefits, cooperatives stimulate job creation by employing over 100 million people around the world.

HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalDayOfCooperatives

Cooperatives all around the world hold special events on this day. Every year, the IAC also hosts a photo competition.

To participate:

  • Come up with a list of the cooperatives in your community.
  • Think about how cooperatives have made a positive impact on your life.
  • Volunteer for a local cooperative or become a member of one.

Share this day on social media with #InternationalDayOfCooperatives


Since 1923, the International Day of Cooperatives has been held on the first Saturday in July. The IAC, along with the international cooperative movement, are credited for establishing the day. In 1992, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed a resolution to make the first Saturday of July in 1995 the official International Day of Cooperatives. This date marked 100 years since the formation of the IAC. Since 1995, the UN and the IAC have partnered with one another to organize the annual event. The Committee on the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) also plays a role by selecting a theme each year. Recent themes include:

  • 2020: Cooperatives for Climate Change
  • 2019: Coops 4 Decent Work
  • 2018: Sustainable Consumption and Production
  • 2017: Cooperatives Ensure No One Is Left Behind
  • 2016: Cooperatives: The power to act for a sustainable future
  • 2015: Choose cooperatives, Choose equality

2 July 2022
1 July 2023
6 July 2024
5 July 2025
4 July 2026
3 July 2027
1 July 2028
7 July 2029
6 July 2030


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