Italian Center for Documentation on Cooperation and Social Economy | Virtual museum - Brazil

Virtual Museum
of cooperatives


The start of the Brazilian cooperative movement dates from 1847, with the establishment of a rural society in the state of Parana by a French medical doctor, Jean Maurice Faibre. By 1888 cooperative stirrings had developed to such a point that a national publicity campaign was organized. Government decrees in 1903 and 1907 enhanced the cooperative effort, and individual cooperatives were soon to be found in all parts of the country. These had developed in sufficient number by 1925 that they began to form regional federations. Organized throughout the nation, they were seen as a way to maximize the advantages to be achieved by cooperative collaboration. In 1994 there were 92 such federations representing the interests of different types of cooperatives. A national confederation emerged in 1956 with the formation of the National Union of Cooperative Societies, followed in 1964 by the Brazilian Cooperative Alliance. In 1971 the Organization of Brazilian Cooperatives (OCB) was formed to represent all cooperative interests in the country, a responsibility it still carries. In 1991 OCB published The Brazilian Cooperative System, outlining the status of the cooperative movement, indicating 3,589 societies with 2,978,000 members (approximately 2% of the population). A report of the ICA in 1998 indicated that there were 5,399 Brazilian cooperatives with a membership of 3,741,667 (2.3% of the population) in the following sectors: agriculture—1 .496 societies/with 918,883 members; consumer—238/1,221,985; credit (banks)—842655,896; electricity and telephone—205i270,000 (1991); fisheries—25/16,209; health—862/595,105; housing—170/36,468; worker productive—1,103297,121; and others (including transport)— 458/na. The 1999 president of the ICA, Roberto Rodrigues, came from the Brazilian movement.

Jack Shaffer, Historical Dictionary of the Cooperative Movement, The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Lanham, Md., & London 1999 
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