Celebrating SUSY’s Achievements


The Co-operative College shines a light on some of the challenges that faced the largest ever EU funded consortium of 26 partner organisations, as well as the achievements.

The final meeting of the SUSY consortium was also a chance to celebrate the achievements of the project and reflect on all of the different perspectives and experiences over the past 3 years of the project. Having spent the day before the final meeting on the serious task of reinforcing everyone’s understanding of the final monitoring and evaluation requirements and going through the logistics of tying up all of the loose ends at the end of such an enormous project, it was nice to have a day to focus on the highlights. Each of the project partners talked about their own SUSY ‘greatest hits’, and also what their ongoing activities were to be following on from the end of the project.

The Successes

Most of the partners talked about the great success of the speakers’ tours and the film festivals as being the greatest part of the project as these made the project have much more of a global reach in terms of looking beyond the EU and connecting up the experiences of people from all around the world. Also all of the ‘best practice’ films that were created to showcase SSE organisations internationally, that can be found here:

Many of the partners spoke about how they had been able to use the project to influence change within their regions and countries, such as in Ireland where there have been changes to public sector procurement contracts to reflect the social impact of the work being undertaken. In Cyprus they have managed to advocate for changes to legislation after lots of campaigning through the SUSY project. In Bulgaria the SUSY partners have been invited to take part in discussions on a new law covering the SSE, which is particularly important at the moment as Bulgaria holds the Presidency of the EU, and recognises that the SSE may be part of the solution to the fact that technology is set to take over many jobs in the near future. There were several partners who talked about how proud they were to have introduced the concept of the SSE into their countries, such as the Czech Republic, Latvia and Croatia, and many more partners who were able to bolster or build on existing work in their countries to raise the profile and prominence of the SSE.

Future Challenges

Partners also pointed out some of the ongoing challenges that still need to be tackled as we take the work of SUSY further. This was mostly around the fact that it is difficult to create the systemic change that is required to shift the way the economy works away from a growth model, and to educate people’s mind-sets in a consumer-driven approach based on people being able to get whatever they want all year round. The next step for the SUSY project is to carry on advocating for change and to make use of the wealth of tools and materials that have been developed through the project to carry on educating people at all levels and driving for ideological change as much as political change.

CEDP: Behind the Scenes!


In September, the Co-operative College went to Brussels to meet other Co-operatives Europe Development Platform (CEDP) members. The CEDP meets 3-4 times a year to work together on co-operative development issues at both EU and global level. One of the key wins resulting from the group’s recent activities was getting 3 mentions for international co-operative development in the EU Consensus on Development 2017 as a result of group members advocating for policy changes with their EU representatives. There was also quite a lot of discussion on the creation of an International Co-operative Development Platform based on the success, and recognising the value of, the CEDP. Since first conceptualising the idea of a more global platform at the International Summit of Co-operatives in Quebec City in 2016, the CEDP has developed a proposed structure and timeframe for its creation. It has also approached the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) to support the initiative. This will be further discussed and developed with a wider group of invited specialists at the ICA’S Global Conference and General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur in November of this year.

On the second day of the Brussels meeting, the representative of the Co-operative College worked with the research group to feed back the main findings of the research that the college has been commissioned to carry out to analyse the different co-operative development approaches used by CEDP members. This aimed to isolate the ‘cooperative factor’ at work in their international cooperative development activities and explore what makes this approach unique. The outcomes of the research will enable the group to highlight and share good practice, promote partnerships within and outside the group and showcase the advantages of co-operation as a development approach.

What was amazing was to realise the full reach and breadth of experience of the different members of the group. For example, the CEDP members work in over 75 countries globally and work in sectors as diverse as sustainable energy, disaster relief, housing and education. The group has a strong focus on women and young people, promoting marginalised and under-represented groups to ensure that the work they do is equitable and builds the foundations for a sustainable global co-operative movement into the future.

DGRV short-term experts in Turkey


Is it more suitable to improve the existing cooperative law or to set up a completely new one? This question currently concerns the Turkish cooperative sector. On the occasion of the international cooperative fair “Uluslararası Kooperatifler Fuarı”, which took place from 7 to 10 December in Ankara, short-term experts from Germany contributed their experiences to the discussion.  The exchange took place as part of a German-Turkish federation cooperation, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The DGRV project aims to enable agricultural cooperative societies to offer better services to their member cooperatives. The goal: The small-scale family farms in Turkish agriculture should be supported by their cooperatives in a sustainable way.
The project measures range from continuing education programmes to practical instruments such as standardized milk purchasing agreements as well as to the bundling of interest representation by the federations. Especially in the Turkish government’s intended revision of the Cooperative Act, they have joined together. An essential point is the introduction of mandatory cooperative audits conducted by the federations.
Another important topic is the cooperative energy transition. Mr Jürgen Schenzel, board of directors’ member of the Raiffeisenbank Lorup, presented the wind energy projects of the cooperative bank. The agricultural cooperatives in Turkey want to profit economically from the energy turnaround as well. Yet, the legal framework conditions have to be appropriate.

Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen – one of the founding fathers of the modern cooperative idea


He never left his homeland, but his idea made a worldwide career. Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen has noticeably improved the lives and economies of people with his work. Two main principles especially drove him to do so: solidarity between people and the help for self-help. And so far the success of his idea has proven him right: in Germany, 22.6 million people are members of a cooperative – and the tendency is rising. Today, more than 1 billion people worldwide are organized in cooperatives. On the occasion of Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen’s 200th birthday, the memories of his work and his cooperative idea come to life again. In order to honor and celebrate Raiffeisen’s heritage and to carry on his legacy in politics, business, and society, a website has been established also in English language by the German Friedrich-Wilhelm-Raiffeisen-Association. It contains important information on Raiffeisen, his life, the cooperative idea as well as on noticeable events during the Raiffeisen year.

The English language website can be accessed under:

Make way for the Young European Cooperators! The Assembly of YECN was held in Italy


Last December 2017, the young cooperators from every European country have come together in Assembly to develop challenges and opportunities for the cooperative movement. The Assembly was held in Bologna at FICO ( and it was attended by people from Italy, France, Spain, UK, Denmark, and Germany.

The work of Young Europeans Cooperators Networks -YECN- started in 2014 and since that time have been promoted some annual meetings in Paris, Bologna, Bruxelles, and Mondragon.During the morning every country has submitted its national experience and expertise, and during the afternoon session the cooperators took part in a workshop on keep the YECN growing and extending.

The international cooperative movement is a big network of 1 billion people in the world, that means 12% of the employers. In this perspective, the networks cannot have national borders anymore, and the young people want to look at Europe as an active citizenship area. For this reason, it’s important for the young cooperators to develop a European network such a place where learn and swap information, policies, and strategies.

LecceLab Project: A New Opportunity for Young People in the south of Italy


To foster the adoption of lifestyles and behaviors inspired by the principles of legality, civil coexistence, respect for human rights and interculturality, with a direct and constant reference to the values and principles expressed by the Constitution; stimulate entrepreneurial mindset in new generations; develop their strategic skills for the planning of their future. These are the goals of the project for high school students in the city of Lecce and young people between the ages of 16 and 18 who are excluded from the regular labor market with particular attention to the target of young immigrants .

The project’s includes experiential and laboratory activities that promote the values of work and legality while at the same time making the young people more aware of their professional development project. Information seminars, workshops, simulated business activities, meetings with business world leaders will enhance students’ skills with regard to some ‘key competences’: digital skills, creativity and innovation, self-entrepreneurship, cooperation. The schools that have expressed the interest to participate in the project and who will be involved in the planned activities are 6 hight schools and professional institutes in the city of Lecce.

In Apulia the open day of Granarolo, the Milk Festival


The Granarolo Group, the largest Italian-based agro-industrial operator, opened to families and children the factory of of Gioia del Colle, in Apulia, to celebrate its sixtieth anniversary.

The Milk Festival has happened in Bologna, Milano and other italian cities before concluding in Apulia.

A real open day to welcome the communities of the area and all those who have the desire and curiosity to see the “behind the scenes” of the most important Italian milk chain.

The Milk Festival has been held from 10am to 4pm, with guided tours every hour to the discovery of production departments. To participate, people signedn up at

Granarolo’s employees has welcomed the visitors, and told them what they are doing within the Group and respond to curiosity and information with competence.

In the context of the opening days, besides the guided tours, there were organized children’s laboratories dedicated to milk and its derivatives, learning how to make cheese and milk.

Space for make-ups for a milky-themed design, gadget distribution and a corner to get a photo to be published on Instagram (@gruppogranarolo # Granarolo60 #FestadelLatte).

The Festival was also an occasion for a snack based on Granarolo’s portfolio products. Those who participated was offered another opportunity: to visit the Granarolo Group near the factory in the same day.

The initiative continued the series of events to celebrate the 60-year-old Granarolo and tell the long way out of that long June 21, 1957, when the founding members reunited in front of a notary to form Consorzio Bolognese Latte Producers, a cooperative liability company limited, the first nucleus of Granarolo of our day.

“The Milk Festival initiative is the fulcrum of celebrations for our 60s,” says Gianpiero Calzolari, President of the Granarolo Group, “an extraordinary opening moment for the communities where the Granarolo Group operates, always focusing on the respect for people and land. This is a unique opportunity to tell our story of courageous pioneers who, starting from Emilia-Romagna, have been able to look beyond and invest in the future. It is also an opportunity to show, through the guided tours of the breeding establishments and farms of our breeders, what we have become today: the first Italian-based agri-food company and the largest Italian milk chain”.


3D-4Uman: a cooperative start up at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2017


The 3D-4Uman Co-operative of Catanzaro (Calabria, in the south of Italy), one of the winners of the Coopstartup Calabria call, is one of the two subjects selected by the National Committeee of the Ministry of Economic Development to represent Italy at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2017 of the European Commission, in Tallinn (Estonia) on 22-24 November.

Legacoop and Coopfond, the mutual fund for the promotion and development, and the creator and promoter of the Coopstartup project, expressed their satisfaction for this important success.

3D-4UMAN of Catanzaro, consisting of 4 members (an architect, a biomechanical engineer, a biomedical engineer and a graduate in architecture), is based on 3D technology evolution from 3D design to digital information transformation.

It wants to operate in different areas ranging from healthcare to architecture and design with the production of custom prototypes and plastic planks printed in 3D.

The starting point of the business is a personalized footbed (printed in 3D) designed to meet the needs of athletes involved in potentially traumatic physical activity for which adequate plantar support is required.. A focused and in-person personal study will produce a personalized prototype to such an extent as to prevent and alleviate any need or problem of a motor nature, avoiding compensation mechanisms that degenerate into postural problems. The function of the product is to satisfy / compensate the morpho-physical characteristics of the foot, taking into account not only biomechanical parameters such as height and weight of the person, but also the characteristics of the sport and the role played.

Meeting on Cooperative Culture and Education in Rome


“Percorsi di valore” is the title of the annual meeting of Coopfond, the mutual fund of Legacoop. The meeting was held on 18 July in Rome in the Roman Aquarium. At the center of the work day, the themes of cooperative culture and managerial training, aspects on which Coopfond’s financial and planning commitment has focused over the years.

This is one of the functions that the italian law 59 of 1992 gave to mutual funds, on the other hand these themes represent the bridge with the future, the instrument for building the tomorrow’s cooperation.

For these reasons they decided to talk about in a table with experts from different points of view, and to do that in the same day of the presentation of their social reporting. It was illustrated by Aldo Soldi, general manager of the fund, in the early part of the morning, looking back on the actions that look to the future: supporting for the startup of new cooperatives through Coopstartup and Workers by Out (cooperatives funded by employees recapturing companies in crisis), the many initiatives for the spread of cooperative culture and education, the defense of some important cooperatives.

The fund is fed by the 3% of the cooperative’s profits, so it has a redistributive nature that is the basis of mutualism: the profits of larger and structured cooperatives can support the development projects of smaller ones or new initiatives.

The meeting promosed a discussion centered not only on the main action already done, but also and above all to guide the work of the next  years. The first round table has involved experts working on the development of cooperative managerial skills: Raffaella Curioni, Chairman of Quadir and Enrico Parsi, Director of Scuola Coop, Consumers’ Training Consortium, Mattia Granata, responsible for Legacoop’s Cooperative Studies and Culture Center.

There are several points to reflect about: a demand for training that paradoxically falls as the manager grows in the professional career and is almost always tied to technical training; The way to organize the work into companies, increasingly oriented to the solution of urgencies, while the production of the new ideas would require longer times; Opportunities for spaces where cooperative managers can share and stay together.

The most important starting point is that the co-operative managers are not only good managers, and cooperative formation should be centered on values ​​and how these become the center and the true origin of managerial action.

The next roundtable, “Knowledge and Training: Strategic Development lever”, discussed with the moderation of Enrico Fontana, science experts such as Fabio Beltram of Pisa’s Normale School and Guido Caldarelli of IMT Lucca, LIMS London and Catchy, the Sociologist Leonardo Palmisano, chairman of Radici Future, Katia De Luca coordinator of Generazioni, the national committee of young cooperators of Legacoop and Mauro Lusetti, chairman of Legacoop Nazionale, in addition to the video interview of Mrs. Silvia Costa, president of the Culture Committee of the European Parliament.

From the roundtable we get many ideas: the importance of abolishing, during training, the questions that have answers that are already known, the need to integrate humanism and scientific culture, strengthen networks and connections to learn and produce knowledge, fostering the entrepreneurial skills of young people without underestimating self-learning and the possibilities of co-building training paths. Lastly, the strong message of necessity, for cooperation, of building an idea of ​​future, reiterated by Lusetti, overcoming the risk of homologation and strengthening instead the cooperative values, the real way through which cooperation today can reach young people. Valeria Fedeli, Minister of Education, University and Research, recalled the active role of co-operation in promoting concrete actions for sustainability at the heart of Agenda 2030, digitized as a transversal tool which allows for didactic innovation, the work on the “University’s third mission”, that is the entrepreneurial one.

“Educated Trainers Stronger Cooperatives” Project 2nd Training in Bonn, Germany


Summary of the Training Program

Educated Trainers Stronger Cooperatives is a project coordinated by the Ankara Development Agency and funded by the Turkish National Agency under the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership for Adult Education (KA2). In this Project, Cooperative College from UK, Legacoop Puglia from Italy and DGRV from Germany along with our Turkish Partners; Ankara Provincial Directorate of Agriculture, Ankara Provincial Directorate of Commerce as well as District Governorships of Beypazarı and Nallıhan are collaborating under the coordination of Ankara Development Agency. After the Opening Meeting of the Project on 08 February 2017 and the first training mobility was organised by Legacoop Puglia in Bari, Italy between 22-26.05.2017, the second training mobility was organized by German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation reg. Assoc. (DGRV) in Bonn between 03-07.07.2017.

1st Day: German cooperative sector, history, organization, its importance, law, cooperative values and principles were overviewed and an example of a successful German producer cooperative of vegetables was mentioned at the first day of the training.

  • The first co-operatives were founded more than 150 years ago as a reaction to the economic and social problems, i.e. peasants’ liberalisation, industrialisation and new economic freedom.
  • Origin of the German Cooperative System is based on both Friedrich-Wilhelm RAIFFEISEN and   Hermann SCHULZE – DELITZSCH
  • Friedrich-Wilhelm RAIFFEISEN developed a self-help system and self-help organizations for small farmers. In 1864, he founded the first saving and credit coop and Raiffeisen banks become starting-point for co-operative enterprises.
  • Hermann SCHULZE – DELITZSCH organised self-help organizations for small craftsmen and merchants in urban areas and in 1890 he founded the first savings and credit coop for craftsmen and merchants.
  • First co-operative federations were founded in 1870’s, German Co-operative Societies Act was passed in 1889 and the Raiffeisen organization (German Raiffeisen Federation) united with the Schulze-Delitzsch organisation (German Cooperative Federation) in 1972. This leaded to the creation of DGRV.
  • In Germany, there are 7000 cooperatives. 5.500 cooperatives are under DGRV. Especially agricultural, small scale industry and service coops as well as cooperative bank.
  • There are 22 million members, 850.000 work place and 60% of all craftsmen, 75% of all retail traders, 90% of all bakers and butchers and over 65% of all self-employed tax advisors are members of a cooperative.
  • A cooperative is owned by its members, established and run by its members. Cooperative principles are self-help, self-responsibility, self-administration, democratic member control, member economic participation, voluntariness, open membership, identity and locality.
  • In order to set up a cooperative in Germany, minimum 3 people, written statute, examination of business idea and registration at local court are necessary. However, no minimum capital is necessary.
  • Reichenau Coop has 100 active members and has annual 13 million euro turnover. It produces 14.000 tons of vegetables annually. It has market advantage through superior freshness of the produce due to closeness to customers. It has well-known brand name for organic vegetables.

2nd Day:  German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation (DGRV) which is an apex and audit organization of the German cooperative system and Academy of German Cooperatives which organize the cooperative trainings are introduced.


  • DGRV has purpose to promote and strengthen the co-operative movement and auditing the cooperatives.
  • Its services are lobbying in Berlin and Brussels, auditing, legal and tax advice, coordination of education and training services, support co-operative movements abroad,support for the foundation of new co-operatives and support the promotion of members’ interests.
  • There 22 million members of DGRV. These are federal cooperative associations, regional cooperative auditing federations, Coop federations, Enterprises with other legal form whose statute corresponds with the cooperative principles
  • DGRV as German Cooperative Apex Federation aims at strengthening Cooperative Partner Organizations worldwide. It improves the situation of disadvantaged groups by strengthening socio – economic structures.
  • DGRV audit activities focus on the central cooperatives, mainly credit institutions, trade and service cooperatives, and data centers. Examination includes the economic situation as well as the regularity of the financial statements, the annual financial statements and the management.

Academy of German Cooperatives (ADG)

  • The leading institute on a national level is the Academy of German Cooperatives (ADG) in Montabaur. On a regional level, there are 8 academies all over Germany.
  • It is the leading institute for cooperative management education in Germany and in particular a management academy for cooperative banks and companies
  • Bank Training Programs, Seminars and Workshops, Project Management, Knowledge Brokerage, HR Consultancy, HR Development and Assessment, Trainer’s Training and E-learning courses are offered by the Academy.

3rd Day:  Basics of producer and marketing cooperatives are introduced and production in agricultural cooperatives, goods cooperatives / farmers‘purchasing cooperatives, central cooperative associations (hauptgenossenschaft) and logistics in cooperative sector are overviewed. Landgard fruits and vegetable cooperative is visited.

Production/Marketing and Agricultural Cooperatives:

  • A marketing cooperative, sometimes known as a producer cooperative, allows its members, who produce the same or similar products, to cooperatively market and sell the products.
  • Producer cooperatives today function as marketing and supply cooperative.
  • The producer cooperative, nowadays rather called marketing cooperative, is mainly found in the agricultural sector. The (agricultural producer) cooperative is a legal form which is modernly used to achieve better market conditions for its members (marketing and supply cooperative)
  • Agricultural cooperatives are organized under DRV (Deutscher Raiffeisenverband / German Raiffeisen Association). In total, there are 2186 registered Raiffeisen cooperatives in 2016. Out of which 730 are purely agricultural cooperatives.
  • Almost every farmer is organized in one or more cooperatives. Agricultural cooperatives offer extensive employment opportunities in various business fields. On average, one agricultural cooperative in Germany employs 26 people. Usually, the main business fields of a producer cooperative are goods, wine, animal feed, dairy products, fruits and vegetables as well as cattle and meat.

Goods Cooperatives / Farmers‘purchasing Cooperatives

  • Another form of producer cooperatives which is also very popular in Germany are goods cooperatives, also called farmers ‘purchasing cooperatives or commodities cooperatives. The goods cooperatives are the section with the highest turnover rates of the Raiffeisen organization.

        Central Cooperative Associations (Hauptgenossenschaft)

  • There are 5 popular agricultural central cooperative associations. They represent all individual members on national and international level

         The Landgard Marketing Cooperative

  • Germany’s leading marketing organization in the gardening/horticulture sector. It markets what is produced by its members
  • The company is fully owned by its members who deliver a wide range of pottet plants, cut flowers, fruits and vegetables to Landgard over the whole years.

4rd Day: Citizen’s Cooperative and principles of local cooperatives ownership, renewable energy cooperatives and example of cooperative community project of Raiffeisenbank Lorup are overviewed.

Citizen Cooperatives

  • Coops which are created by people in a new field of common interest and exclusively or predominantly owned by local population.
  • Locally owned citizen’s cooperatives in Germany are found in renewable energy cooperatives.
  • Creation of renewable energy coops increases strongly since 2000. Its aim is to support energy transition and to supply members and community with clean and cheaper energy.

 Renewable Energy Cooperatives

  • More than 850 renewable energy cooperatives are organized under DGRV.
  • Types of renewable energy cooperatives are photovoltaic, wind energy, local heat network and bio energy villages

The Raiffeisenbank Lorup eG

  • It is a regional bank that founded in 1900.It has 4,175 customers and 1,570 members. It has 28 trained, friendly and service-oriented employees.
  • Bank has Raiffeisen Energy Park Lorup project which has ecological benefits.
  • Bank has also run a social project to eliminate the side-effects of their projects. They built 14 barrier-free living apartments which mean that the use of the apartment is possible for people with physical handicaps without the help of others in the center of Lorup.

5th Day: In the last day of the training all the subjects that are studied during the training are reviewed and evaluation of the training has been done.