International Day Of Cooperatives

Observed annually on the first Saturday in July, International Day of Cooperatives is a holiday, or to be more precise, a celebration of the cooperative movement. Cooperatives are autonomous associations of people who unite voluntarily to meet cultural, social, or economic needs. They’re jointly-owned organizations that are owned and democratically controlled by their members—with each member having one vote when electing a board of directors. Cooperatives date back to the beginning of human civilization and have been a method for groups of human beings to share tasks and resources, with each member of the group contributing.

The History of International Day of Cooperatives

The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) first started observing this holiday in 1923—with celebrations being held on the first Saturday in July. However, it wouldn’t become an official international holiday until December 16, 1992. This is when the UN General Assembly proclaimed it an international holiday by way of Resolution 47/90 as of the first Saturday in July of 1995. That date was chosen because it was the 100-year anniversary of the ICA—an organization that was founded in 1895.

Observing International Day of Cooperatives

This holiday is observed each year with a special theme that emphasizes a particular aspect of the cooperative movement. For example, in 1995, the theme was “The ICA Centennial and the next 100 years of international cooperation.” In 2013, the theme was “Cooperative enterprise remains strong in times of crisis.” And in 2021, the theme was “Rebuild better together.”

Individuals can also observe this holiday by learning more about cooperatives or by becoming a member of one. They can also use the hashtag #InternationalDayOfCooperatives on their social media accounts to alert more people to this holiday and the importance of cooperatives to both the members of the organization and the general public as well.

When is it?
This year (2024)
July 6 Saturday
Next year (2025)
July 5 Saturday
Last year (2023)
July 1 Saturday
Appreciation & Honor, United Nations