The consortium Asian Farmers’ Association and La Via Campesina, together with ASEAN Foundation and partner farmers’ organizations, actively engaged leaders of ASEAN member states during the 7th ASEAN Cooperative Business Forum (ACBF) held on 15-18 January 2018 in Manila, Philippines.
Around 200 cooperative leaders and members, farmers’ and fishers’ organizations, development partners, government representatives, and civil society organizations from ASEAN member states convened for the 7th ACBF, which focused on coop-to-coop partnership with family farmers to advance prosperity for all.
During the three-day forum, the delegates participated in workshops and knowledge sharing from cooperatives and organizations to expand their knowledge and boost their capacity in agricultural enterprising. The forum was also a venue for the participants to link with other cooperatives to expand their businesses.
Various products of cooperatives from ASEAN member states were showcased during the 7th ACBF. A coffee corner for ASEAN Coffee was also set-up to promote the coffee products of farmers organizations under the AFOSP-MTCP2 program supported by EU, IFAD and SDC. Two baristas from the Philippines and Indonesia demonstrated brewing techniques using ASEAN coffee and the participants got to try the freshly brewed coffee for free.
At the end of the forum, the participants read, in unison the 7th ACBF declaration which states their vision of having a fair and just society where small scale men and women farmers and their families are free from hunger and poverty, are happy and in good health, and live in peace and prosperity as well their commitments to pursue coop to coop partnerships and an enabling environment for agricultural cooperatives to thrive and prosper in the region.
This was the second year that the Philippines has hosted the ACBF. The 6th ACBF on December 2016 also gave way to positive outcomes including a declaration of the cooperatives.
This year’s ACBF is organized by the Cooperative Development Authority of the Philippines (CDA) and co-organized by the Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), ASEAN Foundation and ASEAN Farmers’ Organization Support Program (AFOSP), MTCP2 Programme, Philippine Cooperative Center (PCC), ACDI Multi-Purpose Cooperative (ACDI MPC), Federation of Peoples’ Sustainable Development Cooperative (FPSDC), CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative, Nueva Segovia Consortium of Cooperatives (NSCC), AFP Finance Center Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Bukidnon Pharmaceutical Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BUPHARCO), Cooperative Insurance System of the Philippines (CISP), Mindanao Consolidated Cooperative Bank (MCCB), Tagum Cooperative, NATCCO Network, Oro Integrated Cooperative, First Community Cooperative (FICCO), Sacred Heart Savings Cooperative, San Dionisio Credit Cooperative (SIDCC), and with funding support from the European Union, International Fund for Agriculture Development, and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
Download the 7th ACBF Programme