More than 6.7 million associates, 7,500 organizations and a production that corresponds to 6% of the Brazilian Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Brazilian cooperatives found a lot to celebrate last Saturday, July 8, on the International Day of Cooperatives.
Practices and values like mutual help and responsibility, equality and democratic came to Brazil with the European immigrants who settled, especially, in the South and Southeast.
With this, the movement was also concentrated in these regions. "We now see growth in the Midwest of Brazil too," says the president of the Organization of Cooperatives of the State of Minas Gerais (Ocemg), Ronaldo Scucato.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) considers cooperatives a tool to give leverage for economic development in the emerging countries.
"It is a way of stimulating entrepreneurship," states the president of Ocemg.
However, in comparison to developed countries, Brazil has a small number of people related to the movement, according to Scucato.
The average in countries like France, Canada, Japan and Italy is of a participation of 40% of the population in cooperatives, amongst associates and their dependants. In Brazil, this rate is of only 10%.
"This will only change with education and with the example of good cooperatives," he believes.