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The will to cooperate

31 October 2012
The cooperative business model is enjoying a revival. More and more entrepreneurs and independent businessmen and women, not only in the farming and horticulture industries, are discovering just how modern this form of business is. But cooperatives are not very well known in higher education, where the entrepreneurs and professionals of the future are being educated.
Henk Kievit of Ede University of Applied Science and Nyenrode University thinks, 'You have to start by asking each other questions: What can we do for each other? How do we want to work together? Once you've got the answers, you can decide whether a cooperative is the right business model for you. This form of business is often chosen for its legal and fiscal benefits. But that's not where its true strength lies. Cooperatives are all about the will to work together.'
As part of the UN International Year of Cooperatives, the National Cooperative Council for Agriculture and Horticulture (NCR) has arranged an exchange programme for Dutch cooperatives and higher education institutions. Jos van Campen, President; Gerard van Tilburg, Vice-President and Jan Willem van Roessel, Secretary of Cosun's Board, are three of the 22 ambassadors. They will be giving guest lectures at the institutions and talking about their own experience of how cooperatives work in practice. For more information, visit www.cooperatie.nl [in Dutch only] or call +31 30 28 40 490.