Meet the Member: OCB Brazil Date : 2016-01-06 Views : 3825
Organization of Brazilian Cooperatives (OCB)
OCB is an organization that represents cooperatives in Brazil and as such, is responsible for the promotion, support, and defense of the Brazilian cooperative system in all political and institutional forums. Founded in 1969 during the IV Brazilian Congress of Cooperatives, OCB has established itself as valued organization dedicated to the well being of cooperators. OCB’s mission is to represent the national cooperative system, while respecting its diversity and promoting the economic and social efficiency of its cooperatives. Its vision is to be recognized as an entity of excellence while promoting the sustainability of the Brazilian cooperatives as well as the social and economical development of the people who comprise this system.
For all sectors in Brazil, OCB is responsible for registering cooperatives and updating the national database. Additionally, OCB develops strategies for each one of the 27 Brazilian states, while considering their local conditions and focusing on customized solutions for each situation. In each state, OCB relies on the local cooperative organization, a method that empowers local citizens to govern their own unique systems. OCB also seeks new business opportunities for each sector, in both domestic and foreign markets, and invests in professional management.
OCB all extends its scope beyond Brazil by integrating public and private forums, both nationally and internationally, in order to involve all affected parties in the decision making process while maintaining its role as a promoter of economic and social development. Within Brazil, OCB works closely with the executive, legislative and judiciary branches of government to ensure regulatory policies that are favorable to the cooperative sector.
The cooperative sector in Brazil is growing and gaining power with each passing year. As of 2014, OCB had 6,587 cooperatives, which generated jobs for 360,000 Brazilian citizens in 2014 alone. Total, 12.7 million cooperators comprise the OCB network, and that number continues to grow. It is estimated that over 50 million Brazilian people are involved in the cooperative sector, and in 2014, Brazilian cooperatives were responsible for more than USD 5.2 billion in exports.
Of all economic activities, the agricultural sector in Brazil comprises, by far, the largest numbers. 1,543 cooperatives are made of 993,564 members and 180,891 employees who are involved in the agricultural cooperative process. While OCB itself was not founded until 1969, the infrastructure for Brazilian agricultural cooperatives was established much earlier, beginning in the early 20th century. Like most cooperatives, the original goal was to remove middlemen between the producers and the consumers, particularly for cash crops like coffee. The agricultural cooperative model has already been implemented throughout all national territories. Cooperatives are very well known by Brazilian society due to a significant exports presence, while at the same time supplying the domestic market with food products. The Brazilian cooperative model provides a huge range of services – from technical assistance, storage, industrialization and commercialization of products, up to social and educational assistance to members.
Now, the OCB is continually taking steps to improve livelihood of Brazilian farmers, every step of the way. This responsibility begins with input. OCB provides Brazilian farmers with machinery and equipment as well as financial support through rural credit unions. During the production process, OCB can dispatch one of its 8000 technicians to individual members, at their rural properties, to provide technical or managerial assistance. Then, cooperatives are present in the conservation and storage of agricultural products. Of the 143 million tons of static capacity of Brazilian warehousing, about 21% belong to rural cooperatives, i.e. 30 million tones. Cooperatives also use their power to create brands for added value and to simplify the distribution process. The cooperative model in Brazil is one in which farmers can concentrate on cultivating a superior product while OCB member cooperatives manage the logistics to ensure maximum quality and value.
Although agriculture and economy are constantly fluctuating, OCB remains constant in its dedication and commitment to Brazilian farmers. The cooperative model in Brazil is widely respected due to OCB’s long-standing governance and the support from a public who understands the importance of strong cooperatives.