Gay Lea employees Liz Maynard and Denis Seguin travelled with 10 other members of co-operatives in the Canadian Co-operative Association to the Philippines. Hosted by Sorosoro Ibaba Devlopment Co-operative, the largest agriculture co-operative in the Philippines, the group spent two weeks touring rural co-operatives and learning about the services developed through their membership.
Perhaps the most interesting co-operative was the Association of Differently-Abled Persons in Iloilo Multi-purpose Co-operative. The group runs a food canteen in a public market in their home of Iloilo, has a small microfinance credit union that offers reasonable loans, and has a head office working to increase awareness about people living with disabilities. The main source of income for the co-operative is its school desk manufacturing facility where they managed to build $1 million work of machinery with their own resourcefulness at a fraction of the cost. The project was funded by the Co-Operative Development Foundation.