Co-operatives started to mutually collaborate and create umbrella organisations very early. The ICA was founded in London during the first international co-operative congress in 1895. To this day, the alliance facilitates the implementation of the 6th co-operative principle to boost cooperation between co-operatives. It develops relationships between members, organises regional and international meetings, disseminates know-how and prepares training programmes and publications. Part of ICA’s effort is to protect and promote the co-operative identity that sets co-operatives apart from other types of enterprises and protects the co-operative identity.