The Malta Co-operative Federation, officially set up in November 2012, was founded by co-operative societies operating in diverse and successful sectors of the Maltese economy.
Among the members of the Malta Co-operative Federation is a group of professionals in a variety of fields, many long experienced in the co-operative movement in Malta, and true co-operators who are willing to share their expertise in order to help others to look into different ways of working towards success.
The Federation provides democratic access to all co-operative societies in line with the 1st International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) principle, voluntary and open membership. Its main objectives are to:
- represent and be a united voice of the Malta Co-operative Movement both nationally and in international forums;
- promote the co-operative model to the general public as a viable form of democratic member controlled enterprise;
- provide services to its member societies including training and consultancy services, and hand-holding for start-up co-operatives;
- offer member co-operative societies real opportunities to network and synergise together, both nationally and internationally;
- provide an open forum for its member co-operatives in which ideas on achieving best practice are discussed and encouraged.
The Malta Co-operative Federation works with member co-operatives to establish ways in which co-operative principles can benefit members which, in turn, will provide excellent products and services to the clients and the general public they set out to serve.
The Federation is transparent and democratically controlled in the true spirit and values of the ICA, also enshrined in the Co-operative Societies Act, Cap. 442, and professes inclusivity over exclusivity through networking irrespective of the economic sector a co-operative works in.
Education, training and information is the 5th ICA principle and one of Federation’s aims, with emphasis on hand holding when member societies face economic or managerial trouble. Through its pool of experts the Council assists prospective and start-up co-operatives in reaching their co-operative and social objectives through their economic activities.
Another of the main aims of the Federation is to put to practice the 6th ICA principle of cooperation among co-operatives. The synergy that the Federation generates within the Maltese culture is a trigger for concern for the community, in line with the 7th ICA principle.
The vision underpinning the efforts of the Malta Co-operative Federation include:
- Giving exposure to the co-operative model of business through the generation of new ideas and aiding the setting up of co-operatives in new sectors of the Maltese economy;
- Establishing a knowledge-based co-operative movement, willing to learn and share information and research;
- Promoting good co-operative and business practice throughout its member base, whilst encouraging the principle of self-regulation;
- Helping to create wealth through exploring ways of co-operatives working together on new or existing ventures;
- Seeking to maintain a level playing-field for co-operative businesses vis-a-vis other business models;
- Working and co-operating with other organisations which recognise the potential in co-operative businesses;
- Setting up and maintaining effective networks with co-operative organisations outside Malta.
The Federation’s Statute is unique for Malta as it offers a range of rules based on true democratic principles based on the 2nd and 4th ICA principles, democratic control and autonomy and independence, where all Member Societies have an equal voice in making policies and electing representatives. The Federation’s Council Members are elected freely in a comprehensive rotation system from among contestants that are nominated by their co-operative society, from any economic sector. No sector representative is imposed on the Council. Elections are held annually irrespective of whether the nominations are sufficient to fill the vacant Council seats. All elected Council Members are elected in the interest of all co-operative societies in all sectors. Therefore the Federation guarantees that all the Federation’s funds and schemes are controlled democratically and fairly in observance of the 3rd ICA principle member economic participation.