On Tuesday, in Cape Town, the international co-operative movement concluded Congress, held once every two years, with the award of the Rochdale Pioneers Award. This is the highest honour that it can bestow and is given for “making the greatest difference to co-operatives in the world.” All thirteen previous laureates have been outstanding individuals. In South Africa, the award was given, for the first time ever, to an organisation, the Plunkett Foundation
The reaction has been swift for this awarding of what has been described as the Nobel Prize of co-operation.
Dame Pauline Greene, President of the International Co-operative Alliance said “We are delighted to award the Rochdale Pioneers Award to the Plunkett Foundation. Since it was founded in 1919 the Plunkett Foundation has been a leading light in the international co-operative movement. Today Plunkett is leading work to connect up different types of rural co-operatives and we look forward to this work continuing and developing. We have therefore awarded this honour to the Plunkett Foundation for both their past and present contribution to the international co-operative movement.”
David Cameron said “This is a testament to the fantastic work that the Plunkett Foundation does”.
Ed Milliband said “the whole team at the Plunkett Foundation should be very proud to receive this prestigious honour.”
Lord Dunsany and the Hon Oliver Plunkett said “The Plunkett family is delighted to see the work of Sir Horace honoured at such an international level. This would not have been possible if it weren´t for the exemplary and very hard work of the Plunkett Foundation in taking his ideas forward.”