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     Gung Ho Newsletter No.93
Add Time :2010-10-29      Hits:2109

“Father of Modern Cognitive Science” Chomsky Discussed Cooperatives with ICCIC Members

On the morning of August 15, 2010, the MIT professor Noam Chomsky who is reputed as being the “Father of Modern Cognitive Science”, visited the home of the ICCIC member Carl Crook. The ICCIC Vice Chair Michael Crook, former vice chair Lv Wanru, members Pat Adler, Ma Baoru, Wang Jinghua, former executive member Sandra Sacks, Secretary-General Du Yintang, Professor Chen Lin, foreign friend John Saxton, Pamela Lord, Jane Su and Betsy Damien also attended.

They discussed the history of the ICCIC, the development of cooperatives in China and the prospect for the global development of cooperatives.

During this visit to China, Chomsky first visited Taipei on August 9-10 and delivered two public speeches and accepted an honorary doctoral degree from Taiwan Tsinghua University.  He then he arrived in Beijing, visited the Beijing Language and Culture University and gave a theme lecture on August 12. On the evening of August 13, he accepted an honorary doctoral degree from Beijing University, and delivered a speech entitled 'Outline of World Order: Sustainability and Changes'. On the afternoon of August 14, he held a press conference at Beijing University and answered questions from Chinese and foreign journalists. On the morning of August 15, at the invitation of the ICCIC, he visited the home of the  ICCIC member Carl Crook.

Chomsky is a famous scholar, political commentator and social activist in the U.S.A., and a great linguistics expert. He ranks in first place among the Most Influential 100 Public Scholars in the U.S.A., and is now the only living one among the world’s ten greatest  scientists of the 20th Century, which included Einstein, as selected by the Science Magazine of the U.S.A.

Professor Chomsky was born in 1928 in a Jewish family in Philadelphia, U.S.A. His father was a Hebrew professor. He studied at Pennsylvania University in 1945-1949 and then taught at MIT from 1955 until he retired. Chomsky married in 1949. His wife is a linguistics and language education expert.

 

ICCIC Vice Chairs Discussion with the Fair Trade Organization

On the evening of September 7, 2010, Michael Crook and Yuan Peng, Vice Chairs of the ICCIC, held a discussion with Rob Cameron, Executive President of the Fair Trade Organization at Xihe Yaju, Beijing. Wen Tiejun and He Huili also attended. The purpose of the Fair Trade Organization’s visit to China was to explore the possibilities of developing fair trade in the Chinese market. On the one hand, it plans to introduce products from  Chinese farmers’ professional cooperatives which accord with the fair trade principles to the international market. On the other hand, it can introduce overseas farmers’ cooperative products which have fair trade certification to China. They initially plan to carry out in China fair trade  in soybeans, peanuts and tea.

 

The First Meeting of the ICCIC 4th Executive Committee Held in Beijing

On September 17, 2010, the first meeting of the ICCIC 4th Executive Committee was held in Beijing. A total of 13 members attended and Secretary-General Du Yintang was present. The meeting elected the Chair and Vice Chairs and discussed issues such as how to perfect the ICCIC organizational structure.

Results of the Chair and Vice Chairs election:

Chair: Michael Crook

Vice Chairs: Dave Bromwich, Song Zhendong, Yu Lin, Yuan Peng

(NB: Results of the Chair and Vice Chairs election are to be submitted to the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries for approval, and to be submitted to the Ministry of Civil Affairs for record)

 

2010 (Beijing) International Forum held in Pinggu on Difficulties and Solutions Concerning East Asia Farmers’ Cooperative Economy Organization Development Model

 

On September 18-20, 2010, the 2010 (Beijing) International Forum on Difficulties and Solutions Concerning East Asia Farmers’ Cooperative Economy Organization Development Model, jointly organized by the Cooperative Economy Research Centre of the Rural Development Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the ICCIC, the Cooperative College of Qingdao Agricultural University and the Beijing Pinggu District Farmers’ Professional Cooperative Supervision and Service Centre was held in Pinggu as planned. About 80 representatives participated, including 55 from mainland China and 30 from Japan, Korea and the Taiwan region of China.

The Main Agenda of the Forum: 1. Challenges and countermeasures of the development model of the East Asia farmers’ professional cooperative economy organizations: lastest development and case study; 2. Development of rural cooperative finance: theory, practice and policy; 3. Modernization of farmers’ cooperative economy organizations and agricultural produce circulation. 21 expert representatives from China, Japan and South Korea delivered speeches.

Meeting background: The UN Assembly passed resolution 64/136  on December 18, 2009, and announced that 2012 would be international cooperative year. The resolution emphasized cooperatives’ contribution in eliminating poverty, creating jobs and social integration. In consideration of the global food and financial crisis, it especially emphasized that rural cooperatives and financial cooperatives could help resolve the long-term food safety problem and establish a financial system with stronger adaptability.

As an important part of the international cooperative movement, the East Asia farmers’ cooperative movement has played an important role in promoting agricultural growth, increasing the income of small farming households, the development of rural areas and narrowing the gap between urban and rural areas. In the process of economic globalization, the East Asia farmers’ cooperative economy organizations are facing unprecendented challenges. The three consecutive (Qingdao) East Asia cooperative development international forums held since 2007 attracted wide attention in the cooperative economy academic field. In order to expand the influence of the forum, the 2010 East Asia Cooperative Development International Forum was held on September 17-19, 2010 in Beijing. The Forum invited theory workers, policy-makers, cooperative practitioners and promoters in the field of cooperative study in East Asia to attend so as to exchange experience and discuss countermeasures.

 

Strengthening Women Leaders in Southern Asia

“If you want to support other people, you have to be able to support yourself first,” said Yuan Peng, vice chairwoman for the International Committee for the Promotion of Chinese Industrial Cooperatives. Peng explained her take-away lesson from the site visits she and her fellow Global Women in Management (GWIM) workshop participants went on last week.

Peng and 19 other participants from China, Egypt, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Thailand are in Jakarta, Indonesia for the four-week training. Every GWIM workshop includes site visits to local NGOs, giving participants the ability to see firsthand best practices in local community organizations dedicated to the economic participation of women. With every visit, participants get a better understanding of what works and how to improve their own organizations.

Peng and her group visited ASSPUK, an Indonesian association that promotes microenterprise services for women. The site visit made real for Peng what recent studies have shown: Building the capacity of women pays in major returns. Women reinvest up to 90 percent of their income in their families and their communities.

CEDPA has understood the power of investing in women for more than 35 years. The GWIM workshop, sponsored by the Exxon Mobil Foundation’s Women’s Economic Opportunity Initiative since 2005, has trained more than 300 women from 36 countries. The workshop, for mid-level, community-based women managers, advances participants’ leadership and strengthens skills in project management, decision-making, business development, proposal writing, and monitoring and evaluation.

The October workshop is the first to be held in the region. Other GWIM workshops have been held in Washington, D.C., Houston, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Cairo and Abuja (Nigeria).

During the workshop, participants build practical skills and learn the latest technical information from recognized experts. The program also recognizes the leadership ability of every participant and supports continuous learning. Participants are partners in the workshops—they provide continuous feedback, are engaged in decision making, and provide input and learning to other participants.

CEDPA’s alumni also report that they value the cross-cultural components of the regional and global workshops—they value the knowledge gained directly from other participants about the challenges and solutions for women leaders in other countries.

The support does not end with the workshop graduation ceremony. Newly-trained alumni are paired with a senior-level CEDPA alumna for a one-year coaching program. The program provides continuous learning, ongoing feedback, and professional trouble-shooting over structured phone, e-mail and in-person consultations over the course of the year.

(from: http://www.cedpa.org/content/news/detail/2389)

 

Work Report at the ICCIC General Assembly (2005-2010)

 

 

Distinguished Committee Members,

     It has been five years since the International Committee for the Promotion of Chinese Industrial Cooperatives (ICCIC) held its General Assembly Meeting on June 19th, 2005. I will now, on behalf of the Third Executive Committee of the ICCIC, deliver the work report and put forward recommendations for our future work.

 

I. Implemented the tenet of the ICCIC, expanded external exchange, actively implemented various kinds of cooperative promotion projects and promoted the healthy development of cooperatives in China

After 2005, under the leadership and support of the Friendship Association, the ICCIC endeavored to expand external exchange, and actively undertook and implemented various kinds of cooperative promotion projects. It has implemented seven international cooperation projects and two domestic cooperation projects, which have made contributions to the regularization construction of cooperatives in China.

From January 2005 to March 2009, with funding provided by the Canadian Cooperatives Association, the ICCIC implemented a five-year project named Co-operatives Reducing Poverty in Rural China – CRPRC. In this period, the ICCIC introduced the cooperative development ladder assessment tool (the DLA) developed by the Canadian Cooperatives Association, and carried out guidance and training on democratic assessment and regularization construction in three pilot cooperatives, respectively in Shandan County in Gansu Province, Renshou County in Sichuan Province, and Qianyang County in Shaanxi Province. It effectively improved the internal governance environment of these three cooperatives, strengthened the democratic participation and awareness of their members, deepened the cadres and members understanding of the cooperative concept, boosted the local cooperative development, and increased the income of the cooperatives and of their members. The outcome of the whole project was so good that the Ministry of Agriculture, the All-China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives and the Beijing Municipal Rural Affairs Committee attached importance to it and recommended further experimental popularization in China. 

     After the Sichuan Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, the ICCIC and the New Zealand–China Friendship Association jointly applied for funding from New Zealand and organized the implementation of the Huangcun Post-disaster Restoration Project and the Danjingshan Tea Cooperative Poverty Relief Project in Tongji Town, Pengzhou, Sichuan, and actively supported the post-disaster restoration in the Sichuan earthquake-hit area. Whilst providing local cooperatives with funding and material support, the ICCIC also provided local cooperatives and their managerial cadres with a number of training sessions, and thus put into play the cooperatives’ organizing and leading role in post-disaster restoration, which was welcomed by local farming households and won acclaim from the local governments. 

In 2009, at the request of the Belgium-China Friendship Association, the ICCIC assisted the Belgium-China Friendship Association delegation to China in arranging their tourism-style short visit to rural areas in Shanxi, Henan and Zhejiang, and this helped our friends from abroad to understand the situation in rural China in a profound, objective and correct manner.

In 2009, as commissioned by the Beijing Rural Cooperatives Administration Station, the ICCIC gave a popularization demonstration of the DLA in Miyun and Pinggu County/District in the Beijing suburbs, and carried out an assessment survey, training and guidance in 20 cooperatives there. In the meantime, the ICCIC also localized the DLA tool introduced from Canada to make it more suitable for the practical situation in rural areas in China. This project was successfully completed at the end of 2009. Experiment has proved that the redesigned cooperative regularization construction democratic assessment tool is more suitable for the actual situation of cooperatives' development in China. It is simple, easy and applicable, and has important demonstrative significance for the establishment of a rational assessment indexes system for cooperative regularization construction and for the healthy development of cooperatives in China. The Beijing Rural Cooperatives Administration Station has now decided to popularize this assessment method in 200 cooperatives in 10 suburban districts and counties.

 

II. Exerted the expert team predominance of the ICCIC, compiled cooperative training materials, carried out cooperative training activities and held cooperative seminars

     In the last five years, during the implementation process of various kinds of cooperative promotion projects, the ICCIC fully exerted the predominance of the international expert team of the ICCIC to compile various kinds of project training material and laid a solid foundation for cooperative training.

     To date, the ICCIC has compiled and printed seven kinds of project training material, including five kinds of documents on the Social Gender Training of the Chinese Farmer Cooperative Organization Development Project supported by the World Bank, and two kinds of documents on the Sino-Canada Cooperatives Reducing Poverty Project training. Specifically, they include: 1. Training material for small farming household cooperative economy organizations; 2. Material for county and township level cadres training; 3. Training material on farmers’ cooperative economy organizations; 4. Reinforcing training consultation and reference material; 5. Participative cooperative training methods and operation manual; 6. Cooperative Tutors Manual; 7. Cooperative training reference material.

In addition, on the basis of introducing and referring to the cooperative development ladder assessment tool (the DLA) developed by the Canadian Cooperatives Association, the ICCIC compiled a set of Questionnaires A and B for Cooperative Regularization Construction Democratic Assessment. It also received online training and tutoring material on the Canada Agriculture Development Project and uploaded over 10 kinds of materials.

During the last five years, in the process of organization and implementation of the above cooperative promotion projects, the ICCIC held 61 cooperative training and consultation events, averaging over 10 times a year, and training 1,779 persons. At the invitation of other organizations in China, it participated in six cooperative training and consultation events, training 177 persons.

In the past five years, the ICCIC held nine events, including cooperative development project seminars, cooperative theories seminars and International Day of Cooperatives promotion events. These events included two seminars on the Sino-Canada Cooperatives Reducing Poverty Project, one seminar on rural construction experience sharing, one seminar on the cooperative development model and one cooperative promoters' network building seminar; one seminar on the application of the DLA jointly held with the Canada Agriculture Development Project, one urban and rural cooperative economy development forum jointly held with the Chinese Industrial Cooperative Association and Coop Salon, and two International Day of Cooperatives promotion and seminar events.

 

III. Held memorial activities, compiled memorial anthologies to promote and carry forward the traditional spirit of the ICCIC

     In order to promote the ICCIC itself and carry forward the traditional spirit of the ICCIC, in the last five years it held two large-scale memorial and promotion events and published two memorial anthologies.

On September 7, 2007, the ICCIC worked with the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Soong Ching Ling Foundation to hold a memorial ceremony for the 110th Anniversary of Rewi Alley and the 20th Anniversary of Restoration of the ICCIC Activities in the auditorium of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the former residence of Madam Soong Ching Ling. Nearly 100 people, including representatives from New Zealand, friendly individuals from China and overseas and representatives from various cooperatives, attended the ceremony. At the event 17 individuals who had made outstanding contributions to the development of the ICCIC were awarded the ICCIC Contribution 2007 Award Cups.

     Specially for this event, Ms. Lv Wanru , former Vice-Chair and current ICCIC Consultant, compiled a book entitled International Friends and Gungho, which records 12 stories and memoirs of some international friends who had contributed to the development of the ICCIC. In the meantime, the book Anthologies in Memory of Rewi Alley written by Ms. Lv Wanru was compiled and printed to record 14 articles written by Ms. Lv Wanru and published in various periodicals and newspapers since the 1980s.

    In July 2009, the ICCIC and the Soong Ching Ling Foundation jointly held the 70th Anniversary Celebration of the ICCIC in the former residence of Soong Ching Ling. More than 80 people, including Tang Wensheng, Vice-Chair of the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, Carl Worker, the New Zealand Ambassador to China, David Moore, Second Secretary of the American Embassy in China, a delegation of the US-China Friendly Association representing the Carlson's Raiders of the U.S. Marine Corps, headed by the granddaughter of Lt. Col. Evans Carlson of the U.S. Marine Corps, along with other guests from home and abroad, and the ICCIC members who were in Beijing, attended the celebration. In the event 12 ICCIC old comrades were awarded honorary medals.

The above memorial activities effectively increased the ICCIC’s influence at home and abroad. News media, including the China Daily Overseas Edition, Phoenix Satellite TV, Xinhua News Agency, CCTV 7, the Farmer’s Daily, the China Development Brief, and others have covered the ICCIC and its activities in recent years a number of times.

 

IV. Strengthened organizational construction, adjusted leadership, expanded committee and improved the work of the secretariat

1. The 3rd Executive Committee was elected by the ICCIC Plenary Meeting in 2005

     On June 19, 2005, the 3rd Plenary Meeting of the ICCIC was successfully held in Beijing. The meeting passed the 1998-2005 work report presented by Wang Houde, the 2nd Executive Committee Chairman of the ICCIC, revised the Articles of Association of the ICCIC, and elected a new 13-member executive committee (the 3rd Executive Committee) of the ICCIC as well as discussing and passing the ICCIC 2002-2006 Development Plan Proposal.

Members of the 3rd Executive Committee are (in Pinyin alphabetical order): Bian Qingzu, Michael Crook (British), Guo Lulai, Marjorie King (American), Lv Wanru , Miao Zaifang, Shen Hui, Song Zhendong, Tao Yong, Tang Zongkun, Bill Willmott (New Zealander), Yu Lin and Yuan Peng.

     On the afternoon of June 19, 2005, the 3rd Executive Committee held its first meeting, and elected one chairman and two vice chairs. They are: Chairman Bian Qingzu, Vice Chair Lv Wanru  and Vice Chair Michael Crook.

2. Adjusted members of the Executive Committee

     The First Session of the 3rd Executive Committee of the ICCIC of 2006 accepted the resignation of Bian Qingzu as Chairman, Lv Wanru as Vice Chair and Bill Willmott as Executive Committee Member due to age and health reasons, and held a supplementary election and passed the election results of having Michael Crook as the Acting Chairman, and Song Zhendong and Yuan Peng as Vice Chairs, and agreed to have David Bromwich (New Zealander) as a supplementary Executive Committee member. 

     The second session of the 3rd Executive Committee in 2007 approved  Tim Zachernuk (Canadian) and Li Zhonghua (Executive Dean of the Cooperative College of Qingdao Agricultural University) as supplementary Executive Committee members.

     The fourth session of the 3rd Executive Committee in 2008 accepted the resignation of Miao Zaifang from her duty as an Executive Committee member.

     The first session of the 3rd Executive Committee in 2009 agreed to accept Liu Denggao (former Deputy Head of the Operations and Management General Station of the Ministry of Agriculture) as a supplementary Executive Committee member.

     Through the adjustments detailed above, at present the ICCIC Executive Committee has maintained a 13-member team as stipulated at the 3rd Plenary Meeting. Since 2005, the Executive Committee has maintained a system of holding four Executive Committee sessions each year on quarterly basis to hear the work report by the Secretariat, study the work of each stage, solve various kinds of issues encountered, and therefore realized effective leadership and supervision of the Secretariat between sessions of the Plenary Meetings, so boosting the steady and healthy implementation of all aspects of the ICCIC work along the planned track.

3. Changes in the number of members

Since 2005, the number of the ICCIC individual members has increased by 48, while seven old members passed away; therefore the total number of members increased from 97 to the current 146.

     Since 2005, the number of the ICCIC corporate members has increased by three, i.e., increased from four to seven. The three new corporate members are: the New Zealand-China Friendly Association of New Zealand, the Ruian Agricultural Association of Ruian City, Zhejiang Province, and the International Cooperative Economy Development Institute of Laiyang Agricultural University (now Qingdao Agricultural University).

4. Changes in Secretariat staff

     In September 2005, Guo Lina, former Secretary-General, resigned and settled abroad. Liu Guozhong (Vice Principal of Shandan Bailie School, Gansu Province) became the acting Secretary-General. In December 2006, he resigned from his duty as acting Secretary-General because he could not work in Beijing on a long-term basis, and Liu Denggao succeeded him as Secretary-General. However, in March 2009, he resigned because of his busy work at the Soybean Association, and Du Yintang (former Director of the Research Division, the Rural Development Institute, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences) succeeded him.

     In 2008, the former accountant of the secretariat resigned, and the accountant and cashier jobs were respectively succeeded by Ren Guangji and Wu Haili.

     At present there are only three full time staff members in the Secretariat, but through a series of skills training, the working efficiency of the ICCIC Secretariat has significantly improved.

5. Capability Building

     From 2005, the Secretariat has held five skills training sessions for staff, including social gender awareness training, Training of Trainer (TOT), Cooperative Development Ladder Assessment (the DLA) training. It also organized an overseas developmental visit for its staff, and another three visits including a domestic agricultural market site visit, a visit to the Agricultural Projects Trade Fair and a visit to the Energy Saving and Environmental Protection Exhibition. Moreover, it also sat in three seminars including a cooperative theories seminar, seminar on women’s participation in cooperatives governance and a cooperative assessment tool seminar. 

     Through the skills development and work experience, the skills of the secretariat staff have been greatly strengthened, the project implementation abilities have steadily grown and the quality of all kinds of work has been improved considerably.

     Since 2005, the Secretariat has compiled and issued more than 20 issues of the ICCIC Newsletter to timely release dynamic information of all aspects of the ICCIC and to report news about cooperatives in China and also results of survey and research. In 2008, the Secretariat was in charge of the revamping of the ICCIC web site, which added publicity sections and columns, shortened contents and improved the readability and pageviews.

     From 2005 to date, the Secretariat has organized 13 events for Beijing-based committee members, involving altogether 412 people. It received 116 visitors from overseas and has contributed a great deal to the expansion of external exchange and cooperation of the ICCIC.

 

V. Financial status

    For the current duty period of the Executive Committee, the expenditures of the ICCIC mostly rely on income from the projects, but only a little from members' fees and Society donations.

According to the Audit Report, from beginning of 2006 to the end of August 2010, the net assets of the ICCIC amounted to 402,500 Yuan, falling from 1,453,400 Yuan at the beginning of 2006, to 1,050,800 Yuan at the end of August 2010. The reason for this is due to the changes in the accounting system (From the Accounting System for Public Institutions to the Public Institution for Non-profit Organizations). According to the Accounting System for Public Institutions, the ICCIC had not made the depreciation of fixed assets until 2006, but started to do so that year, and put the depreciation of fixed assets before 2006 into the 2006 account. Otherwise, the net assets at the end August 2010 should be only 88,400 Yuan less than at the end of 2005.

From beginning of 2006 to August 31, 2010, the accumulative income was 2,527,800 yuan, the accumulative expenditure 2,616,100 yuan, and the balance -88,400 Yuan. The reason for the negative balance is: the 110,500 yuan bad debts before 2006 had been put into the account of expenditures in 2006. Otherwise, the balance by the end of August 2010 should be 22,000 yuan.

In conclusion the main goal set up by 2005 Development proposal, the financial situation of ICCIC is satisfactory.    

 

VI. Situation analysis and future plans

Since the Farmers' Professional Cooperatives Law of the People’s Republic of China was promulgated on July 1, 2007, the development of farmers’ cooperatives in China has prospered rapidly. The number of cooperatives increased dramatically, and their scale is increasing. According to the statistics by the relevant authorities, up till the end of 2009, there were around 200,000 farmers’ special cooperatives in China, of which about 170,000 were registered with the administration bureaux for industry and commerce. 

However, in the existing farmers’ special cooperatives, the levels of regularization vary a lot. Some cooperatives do not live up to their name because they do not have any business activities; some cooperatives have many fewer members than those registered; some cooperatives have no registered capital or only have registered capital in virtual figures rather than in cash; some cooperatives have their shares held by large households, and the minority have the say; in some cooperatives the majority of the surplus was used for dividend, which is against the principles of return based on transaction value; some cooperatives are in fact partnership enterprises and share-holding companies that are re-registered as cooperatives in order to benefit from state policy preference and financial support, but in fact they are not genuine cooperatives.

In the meantime, in urban areas of China, there is a stronger and stronger demand for developing consumption cooperatives, housing cooperatives, handicraft production cooperatives, credit cooperatives and other types of cooperatives. Such cooperatives are quite common overseas, but in China there is no relevant law and policy for them.

To sum up, the ICCIC still has a lot of work to do to boost the regularization construction of cooperatives and promote the development of various kinds of cooperatives in China.

However, the development of the ICCIC itself is under enormous challenge. Due to the impact of the global financial crisis, and owing to the improvement of China’s international economic status, in recent years funds and projects from overseas for aiding the development of China are decreasing year by year. The opportunities and amounts of funding the ICCIC can gain through application for undertaking international cooperation projects have become less and less, while commodity prices, expenditures and salary levels in China keep increasing. All this has created more and more pressure on the ICCIC on maintaining daily operation costs.

The ICCIC plans to draft a new ICCIC development strategic plan to make plans and adjustment for the development guideline and strategy of the ICCIC in the next five years. At the same time, we also giving some comments on the constitution of the ICCIC to submit to the General Assembly for approval.

According to the new constitution, this General Assembly will select the new executive members, I wish the General Assembly Meeting every success.

    

 

ICCIC

September 2010

 

(Newsletter E 93 Polished By Pat Adler)

Copyright: International Committee for the Promotion of Chinese Industrial Cooperatives
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