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The Co-operators commits $500,000 to help co-operatives Build a Better World

Mar 5, 2012

GUELPH, ON, March 5, 2012 /CNW/ - The Co-operators today announced a commitment of $500,000 to a new campaign in support of international co-operative development.  The announcement was made as The Co-operative Development Foundation (CDF) of Canada launched the Build a Better World campaign, which seeks to raise $12 million over four years to help alleviate poverty by building and strengthening co-operatives in the developing world.

"In making this generous commitment, The Co-operators has once again demonstrated their leadership in corporate social responsibility," said CDF Board Chair Michael Barrett.  "This pledge, made at the launch of our Build a Better World campaign, provides momentum and inspiration for those of us working on the campaign, and for those organizations and individuals that will certainly be adding their support in the days and weeks ahead."

"Throughout the developing world, co-ops are supporting local economies by producing much-needed products and services while creating jobs and developing people's skills," said Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators. "We're pleased to lend our support, particularly during the International Year of Co-operatives, to help build a legacy that will make a real difference in people's lives for many years beyond 2012."

According to Mr. Barrett, the campaign was inspired, in part, by the theme of the UN's International Year of Co-operatives - Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World.  "Co-operatives are among the most effective tools in reducing and eliminating poverty, and our long association with the international development program of the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) has proven that time and time again, through hundreds of projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America.  We believe that 2012, the International Year of Co-operatives, is the perfect time to take our support for poverty reduction to a new level.  We are delighted that The Co-operators has joined us so decisively in this endeavour."

Including The Co-operators commitment, $1 million has already been pledged to the four-year campaign by organizations and individuals. Mr. Barrett said the money raised through the campaign will allow the CCA's development program to more vigorously pursue Three Ls - Leadership, Leveraging, and Legacy.  "CCA has always been a leader in international co-operative development," Mr. Barrett said, "but additional resources will allow CCA to more aggressively pursue innovation and excellence in co-operative poverty reduction. With the resources we provide through the campaign, CCA will also be able to leverage substantial additional funds from the major international development funders. And we want to help CCA build a lasting legacy of prosperity and peace through its partners around the world."

About The Co-operators:

The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $40 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is ranked #1 among the 50 Best Corporate Citizens in Canada by Corporate Knights, and listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada. As a proud member and supporter of the co-operative sector, The Co-operators is pleased to celebrate 2012: The International Year of Co-operatives. For more information visit

For further information:

Leonard Sharman
The Co-operators

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