Federation of Southern Cooperatives
| The Federation in its long history has successfully provided
self-help economic opportunities and hope for many low-income communities
across the South. We are, in fact, the only organization in the
Southeast United States that has as its primary
objectives the retention of black owned land and the use of cooperatives
for land-based economic development. Cooperatives are businesses
that are locally controlled and build wealth through the participation of
people. Coops are an ideal means of helping poor people to advance
their own interests and provide for their own destinies.
In 1984 the Emergency Land Fund, the pioneer organization in Black land retention, merged with the Federation which led to a much stronger and more comprehensive Federation program that retains, acquires, manages, and develops land and other resources using cooperative principles.
Our extended membership includes 12,000 Black farm families, who individually own small acreage, but collectively own over half a million acres of land and work through 35 agricultural cooperatives to purchase supplies, provide technical assistance, and market their crops. It also includes 10,000 small savers in 19 community development credit unions that have accumulated over $5 million in savings and made over $52 million in loans since their inception.
We also work with handicraft producers, fishermen, consumers, people who need housing and other rural residents interested in developing self-help cooperatives as a solution to their problems. We assist groups beyond our membership through various coalitions and partnerships designed to advance rural development needs, issues and concerns.
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