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September 25, 2014    

NCBA CLUSA hosts Romanian cooperative delegation, working toward partnership Special Feature Banner

Representatives from the Bucharest-based National Union of Handicraft and Production Co-operatives of Romania and the country’s Ministry of Economy Department of Foreign Trade met with NCBA CLUSA leadership last week at the organization’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The delegation—fresh from a visit to a large textile trade show in New York—stopped in the nation’s capital to discuss potential partnership with the U.S. cooperative sector.

“We would like to determine the possibility of collaboration, identify partners, see directly some market trends—especially in textiles—and learn more about your cooperative system,” said Cristian Mateescu, vice president of the National Union of Handicraft and Production.

Textiles are the Romanian cooperative sector’s largest export, followed by furniture, Mateescu said.

The visit continues a trend toward greater collaboration between the global cooperative community and the U.S. as a leader in the cooperative development sphere. NCBA CLUSA has previously met with similar delegations from Puerto Rico, Turkey and Israel, and groups from India and China are finalizing preparations for upcoming visits.

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  THUMB 01 Food security panel explores role of U.S. cooperatives in global push to end hunger

Co-ops are an integral player in the push to establish new linkages between the U.S. government and the private sector to end hunger, a panel of experts from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and U.S. agriculture and food cooperatives said during a global food security panel at NCBA CLUSA’s 2014 Annual Cooperatives Conference earlier this month.

Jim Barnhart, deputy assistant to the administrator of USAID’s Bureau for Food Security, launched the September 10 discussion led by NCBA CLUSA’s COO for International Development Amy Coughenour, who asked Barnhart how co-ops are viewed within the “toolset of development.”

"The challenge for [the U.S. government] is that we need to change the way we think about working with [cooperatives]," Barnhart said. 


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  NCBA CLUSA announces results of 2014 Board of Directors election

NCBA CLUSA is pleased to announce the results of its 2014 Board of Directors election, which ran August 4 to 29. The following candidates were elected and have begun serving on the board: 


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  THUMB 01 Driven by change: Operation Round Up® turns 25

More than 250 electric co-ops nationwide are putting the principle of "Concern for Community" into action by giving members the opportunity to round up their electricity bills to the next dollar. All that spare change has raised several hundred million dollars for charitable causes nationwide. Reed Karaim wrote this story for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association about the program's 25th anniversary: 

It was one of those ideas that wake you up in the middle of the night.

Tom Upshaw had been CEO of Palmetto Electric Cooperative in Hardeeville, South Carolina, for about five years, and he had been watching the local investor-owned utility act aggressively toward neighboring co-ops, trying to encroach on their territory. Upshaw had been contemplating things Palmetto Electric could do to strengthen the bonds with its members and the communities the co-op served. 


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  THUMB 01 CoBank named "Safest Bank" in U.S. by Global Finance magazine

CoBank serves industries across rural America, providing loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communication providers in all 50 states. The cooperative bank was recently recognized the nation's 'Safest Bank' by Global Finance magazine. CoBank published this press release:  

CoBank, a leading cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, has been named the safest bank in the United States by Global Finance magazine, and earned a place on its “World’s 50 Safest Banks” list for a fourth consecutive year.

Global Finance, which covers the financial services industry, publishes the "World's 50 Safest Banks" list annually, and released its rankings for 2014 yesterday. 


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  THUMB 01 Why co-ops are the future of the American economy

In this opinion piece for Al Jazeera America, Matthew Harwood, senior writer/editor at the ACLU, explains why co-ops are a solution to American economic insecurity, and why the business model should appeal to liberals and conservatives alike: 

When American politicians and commentators discuss inequality and poverty, they do so almost exclusively in ways that do little to empower workers. Instead, the debates typically focus on what government can do in a top-down fashion to either diminish inequality or discipline the poor.

Take, for example, French economist Thomas Piketty’s best-selling “Capital in the 21st Century” or U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s anti-poverty plan. Both offer paternalistic solutions with little to no chance of success.


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NCBA CLUSA Upcoming Events  

The Co-op 5K
2014-Oct-04 08:00 am - to - 2014-Sep-25 12:00 pm
2014 International Summit of Cooperatives
2014-Oct-06 12:00 am - to - 2014-Oct-09 12:00 am
Co-op Professionals Conference
2014-Nov-06 12:00 am - to - 2014-Nov-08 12:00 pm
Crossroads Cooperative Summit
2014-Nov-07 08:30 am - to - 2014-Sep-25 03:30 pm
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The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the trade association for cooperative businesses in the United States and an international development organization. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector education, technical assistance, and advocacy that helps co-ops thrive. For nearly 100 years, NCBA CLUSA has sought to advance and protect cooperative enterprises, highlighting the impact that cooperatives have in bettering the lives of individuals and families. In the last 60 years, NCBA CLUSA has worked in over 100 countries in the areas of food security, agricultural development, strengthening of communities and farmer organizations, community-based health, natural resources management, and empowerment of smallholder farmers, women, and youth. We currently work in 15 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
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