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International Day of Co-operatives 2020 President's Message

Intl day of Coops

Message from Mr. Hally Haynes, President of the Barbados Co-operative and Credit Union League (BCCULL) on the occasion of International Co-operatives Day.  (Saturday, July 4 2020)

As we celebrate, International Co-operatives Day on Saturday 4th July 2020 under the theme Cooperatives for Climate Action, the world is grappling with a global pandemic - Covid-19 which has impacted almost every country and has caused the loss of thousands of lives. This pandemic has upended economic, business and personal plans. Millions of jobs around the world have been lost, and here at home our fragile tourism-based economy has been severely impacted, with thousands of jobs lost and the lives and livelihood of many have been altered. 

Whilst the cooperative movement and Barbadians as a whole have been through crises before, this crisis is unprecedented and carries with it a high degree of uncertainty and unpredictability. 

Notwithstanding the uncertainty that abounds, as a movement, we remain optimistic about the future and it is for these reasons that your League is not only responding to the issues of today but carefully planning for the future because change is inevitable. 

We are fortified in that the Cooperative Business Model which underpins our movement is considered the most resilient and sustainable model across the world.  Given the challenges, threats and opportunities that confront us as a nation and as a people, this cooperative business approach will be needed now more than ever to rebuild, restore, repurpose and restructure our economy and society. We will emerge stronger and fitter, because of our resilience and our commitment to be there for our brothers and sisters. 

Our comrades at the International Co-operative Alliance have rightly focused the globe’s attention this year on climate change. The world cooperative community has been called on to continue its push for forthright action to address climate change. 

The movement has recognised that unless a concerted effort is formulated to respond to this global threat, lives and livelihoods in large and small countries, rich and poor nations, will be at greater risk. Indeed, this year’s theme seeks to honour the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal No. 13 on Climate Action. 

The President of the International Co-operative Alliance, Ariel Guarco has shared: “Our common home is in danger. There are methods of production and consumption that are constantly attacking the environment. We don’t have much time to reverse this situation. We must act now, with our values and principles, to demonstrate on a global scale that it is possible to develop an economy with social inclusion and protection of natural resources.”


Business Development Plan

Brothers and Sisters, as we commemorate International Co-operatives Day 2020 - your representative body - the Barbados Co-operative & Credit Union League (BCCUL) of which I have the honour of leading, has been working with other co-operatives and credit unions on a Steering Committee to establish the first Energy Co-operative in Barbados.

Operating within the context of Barbados’ National Energy Policy 2019 – 2030 that priortises the achievement of a fossil-free, sustainable energy framework by 2030, I am pleased to report that the Barbados Sustainable Energy Co-operative Society Limited (CoopEnergy) was registered on the 5th June 2020.

Let me use this opportunity on behalf of the founding members of the Barbados Sustainable Energy Co-operative Society Limited (CoopEnergy), to express sincere thanks and appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the Steering Committee Members. I also want to express sincere gratitude to the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, the Ministry of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce and indeed the Registrar of Co-operatives.


CoopEnergy poised for success

CoopEnergy has being founded on the principle of securing an aggregated equity share for the average Barbadian citizen in the increasingly liberalized electricity and renewable energy market.   With a strategic vision geared towards becoming a major developer and equity investor in energy projects, CoopEnergy will contribute to substantial economic enfranchisement through ensuring local retention of economic returns. The entity will also represent the collective financial interests of all residents of Barbados as the reengineering of the new renewable framework takes place over the next ten years.

Given the successful history of co-operatives on the island and the value of a dispersed ownership structure, preventing any small group from selling assets without the collective consent of all involved,  the Barbados Sustainable Energy Co-operative Society Limited (CoopEnergy) is an ambitious but highly achievable and sustainable venture of which cooperatives and credit unions in Barbados are extremely proud to be a part of. Because of its potential for positively impacting the lives not only of members but all Barbadians and residents, we look forward to sharing more on its planned operation with the rest of Barbados very soon.

It is acknowledged that historically, the regulated return on investment from the energy sector has been in the region of 10 per cent per annum. And once the level of service and the reliability is maintained, your League is confident that there is no reason why such a return cannot be achieved by this strategic investment.

I am pleased to inform you that as a not-for-profit community-based cooperative, CoopEnergy will emphasise desirable customer interactions, cost-efficient back-office operations, and a streamlined, responsive and transparent organisational structure.

As your President, I am confident that CoopEnergy, with the support of our members, is capable of successfully delivering high-quality energy services to all customers during and after Barbados’ 100 per cent transformation to renewable energy. This island has been a leader in the renewable energy sector with our trail-blazing track record in solar water heating. In the Caribbean, we have the highest penetration rate for electric vehicles. Moreover, we have enjoyed high quality electricity services over the years and the island has produced large numbers of professionals in the field who are capable of continuing such performance in the new renewable energy environment.

In the coming days, the Barbados Sustainable Energy Co-operative Society Limited will roll out a comprehensive timeline of strategic actions that will bring this project to life and positively impact Barbados’ carbon footprint.

As the theme for International Co-operatives Day 2020 outlines, we in Barbados are dedicated to ensuring that our environment is protected, that we stave off the most negative impacts of climate change and that we continue to secure the sustainable development of our island nation.

Happy International Co-operatives Day 2020 and may the Blessings of Almighty God be with us now and forevermore.


Mr. Hally Haynes



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