Hevgirtin is the biggest co-operative in the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, with 26,000 members by the end of 2016. In fact it is a group of co-operatives.
“The idea to set up this co-operative came up a year ago in the village Zargan, during the sugar crisis. We are under an embargo and the capitalist merchants profiteer by speculating with the prices of essential products. That’s how the idea came up, to form a co-operative to buy sugar and sell it at a lower price than the market. It was a small step to go from selling sugar to selling other products, and that’s how we began to involve various communes, so that they would buy from us. At the beginning, our co-operative worked as a wholesaler. Today, we distribute products of other co-operatives and invest 5% of what we make into creating new ones. So far, we have initiated eight other co-operatives”, explains Zafer, a member of the administration council. “Our final goal is to take control of the market out of the hands of the merchants and wholesalers, who don’t share the profits with the communities, and for that we also want to set up a bank that will finance new co-operatives.”
There is a mall project sponsored by Hevgirtin in Qadourik neighbourhood, with 47 women members, and a mall project in Al-Hilalyah neighbourhood with 10 women participating. The malls sell food products, cleaning products and other necessities. The profits are being distributed equally among the participants.
Hevgirtin also buys products from Lorîn and sells them to the co-operative societies, which bring them to the consumers at affordable prices.