Some history : from the Rochdale pioneers to the present.
Since the middle of the XIX century when English weavers near Manchester joined together to improve their living conditions, co-operatives have represented an alternative idea of economic development.
As a link between popular capital, the economic instrument, users and workforce, cooperative principles sparked enthusiasm in entrepreneurs and consumers alike.
Co-operative experiences began developing at that time and gathered into professional co-operative organizations. In France, an awareness of the need to be united led to the creation of the National Federation of the Consumer Co-operatives as early as 1912.
With a central vision of co-operation, the F.N.C.C. has originated collectives in many fields : social agreements, representation of the co-operative theories to national and international public institutions, financial organizations for mutual aid and development, international cooperatives and exchanges, and social organizations for the profit of cooperative members…
Today the need for co-operation is unchanged and co-operative principles are as contemporary as ever.
Co-operatives are another way of doing business, one which supports member participation and protects their interests. Thus, they carry on with the task of democratizing the economy.