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Camila Evelyn Hutak, 25, Cooperativa Agropecuaria, Argentina

What does the cooperative identity mean to me? Equity.

I am the fourth generation of cooperators in my family, so cooperativism is deeply rooted in me. Since I was little, my parents and grandparents have instilled in me the importance of cooperative values ​​to be able to function in society without any problems. Through the training provided by my cooperative, those values ​​have become even clearer to me, and I was able to put them into practice. The situation in my cooperative has changed a lot in recent years, before only family men could be members and now women can also join.

So far, we are only three female members, but it is a victory because we are clearly empowering ourselves. Thanks to my Cooperative, today I am chairing the CONINAGRO Youth Table, a national entity where two years ago I became the first woman to preside over such an important and male dominated group, in previous years.

My cooperative Cooperativa Agropecuaria was created and organized by agricultural producers who organised themselves to lower their costs and have a better position in the market. It helps members buy supplies and material, share technical and professional assistance, commercialize the production together, which allows us to increase our production volume and improve the price. My cooperative also helps to transform the processes of primary production and above all, it helps small and medium producers by promoting their rural origins. This has helped my family’s farm to market our products by providing us with monetary loans during harvest season, when the cost of fuel, seeds, technical services are very high. My cooperative also offers training and gives young people like me the space so we can develop ourselves and offer ideas to the older generation to improve.