CFS41: Cooperatives and Producer Organisations - key to an efficient family farming sector

15 Oct 2014

The 41st session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS41) is being held from 13 - 18 October at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). On behalf of the world's farmers during CFS41, the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) will partipate actively, and is co-organising four Side Events. The CFS41 Side Event titledCooperatives and Producer Organisations: key to an efficient family farming sector” is being organised by the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC), of which WFO is active member. This CFS41 Side Event will be held on Wednesday, 15 October at 8:30 a.m. in the Lebanon Room (D-209) at FAO Headquarters in Rome.

The key message of this CFS41 Side Event is that through collective action in agricultural cooperatives and producer organisations family farmers can enhance their critical contributions to reducing rural poverty and achieving food security throughout the world. It is organised by the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC), a coordinating body for international inter-agency collaboration between the cooperative movement and the UN system on activities related to cooperatives, and on sustainable cooperative development. COPAC consists of in the United Nations through its Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), and the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO).

Small family farmers encounter numerous barriers as they are often dispersed and face high transaction costs, which limit their ability to access markets and service providers, as well as influence policies. By grouping through diverse organisations, such as cooperatives and producer organizations, small-scale family farmers can overcome their constraints, consolidate activities, help reduce transaction costs faced by service providers and thereby achieve efficiency. This side event addresses how efficient and effective cooperatives and producer organizations can unlock the potential of the family farming sector for the development of sustainable agriculture and achievement of food security throughout the world.


Presentations will be made about the following issues:


  • Marcela Villarreal, Director, Office of Partnership, Advocacy and Capacity Development (OPC), Chair of COPAC (moderator)
  • EU experience and support to cooperatives and producer organizations in EU and other countries, Florence Bucholzer, Agricultural Counselor, EU Delegation to the UN Organizations
  • Farmers and agricultural cooperatives across the world, Marco Marzano de Marinis, Executive Director, World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO)
  • Providing integrated services, Rev. George Angala, the Uganda Cooperative Alliance
  • Ensuring access to resources through collective action, Andre Beaudoin, Union des Producteurs Agricoles du Quebec (UPA)/ Developpement International (DI)
  • Linking family farmers to markets, Barbara Billoci, UE Coop
  • ILO and cooperatives: a perspective for an efficient family farming sector, Roberto di Meglio, Senior Technical Officer, International Labour Organization (ILO)


The CFS41 Side Events timetable and brochure are available at:

Read about CFS41 at, and download the latest documents available from


Watch CFS41 Plenary Sessions live via webcasts at


Follow CFS41 on Twitter at, and by using the hashtag #CFS41.