The Development Law Service

FAO RLC submits proposal for Model Law on Agrifood Cooperatives in Latin America and the Caribbean to the PARLATINO


The FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (RLC) has submitted a proposal for a Model Law on Agrifood Cooperatives to the Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament (PARLATINO).

This initiative was the result of a public consultation process promoted by FAO and it has provoked great interest, as it focuses on promoting the association of family farming in the region. The process has been led by the technical team of the Regional Initiative Nº2 "Prosperous and Inclusive Rural Societies" and the Development Law Service of FAO, collaborating with Cooperatives of the Americas, regional branch of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA).

The Model Law recognizes the critical role of agrifood cooperatives in implementing the human right to adequate food and supporting more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems. It represents a key initiative to boost the association of family farming in the region, providing tools and guidance to strengthen the cooperative model.

FAO Senior Policy Officer, Luiz Beduschi, explained that the proposal highlights the close relationship between family farming and agrifood cooperatives. "By organizing themselves into cooperatives, family farmers can strengthen their position in the market, promote the creation of local production and consumption circuits, and contribute to building more resilient and environmentally responsible food systems," he said. In this sense, he stressed that one of the tenets of the Model Law is "to allow the creation of cooperatives of at least three people, including those from the same family unit, including the participation of family farmers in this type of association".

Likewise, Beduschi stressed the proposal’s alignment with the Global Plan of Action of the United Nations Decade of Family Farming, as it "provides detailed guidance to support these sectors" and he stressed that “it promotes inter-cooperation - a fundamental principle of cooperatives - in areas such as cold chains, transport, among others".

The Model Law on Agrifood Cooperatives seeks to promote an updated and active culture of association, recognizing the opportunities and benefits that the cooperative model offers to producers and community members, focusing on women and young people. It proposes a comprehensive policy of education and training in cooperativism and association, as well as the inclusion of curricular content on cooperative principles and values in agrifood education. In this way, its aim is to strengthen the knowledge and awareness of the cooperative model from an early age.

Other key aspects, such as economic management and access to public markets, including through tenders, are also addressed. The Model Law seeks to create a favourable environment for agrifood cooperatives by providing them with access to financing and preferential tax treatment. The Model Law also promotes the creation of data and platform cooperatives and encourages sustainable production techniques, including precision technologies and urban agriculture. In addition, measures are established to strengthen relations between cooperatives, encouraging integration and interaction with other cooperatives and social and solidarity economy entities.

Source: Original news available in Spanish at the following link