The International Co-operative Agricultural Organisation (ICAO) is the global representative of agricultural co-operatives, the only organization of its kind. Founded in 1951, it's one of the International Co-operative Alliance's eight sectoral organizations. It currently represents 38 organizations from 30 countries. Like the cooperatives and other organizations that compose its membership, ICAO's mission is the economic, social and cultural betterment of farmers the world over.
To that end, it is focused on the following:
Through annual meetings, seminars and workshops, ICAO seeks to facilitate communication between members as well as between members and other rural development organizations. Such communication, in turn, facilitates cooperation, both internal (i.e. cooperation between cooperatives) and external (i.e. with those outside the cooperative movement).
With the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Co-operative Alliance in 2013, ICAO's work now includes serving as a liaison between the UN and the agricultural cooperative sector. In addition to information-sharing, ICAO will link its members to relevant FAO projects, with a focus on projects seeking the establishment and/or support of agricultural cooperatives in developing countries.