Nowadays, consumer Associations constitute the best mechanism to ensure the protection of consumer rights. These partnerships mainly focus on disseminating information through magazines and other media resources.
Many Consumer Associations put pressure on the authorities in order to take the necessary steps and they manage it through the representation of agencies involved in the organization of the regulatory and decision-making.
Many consumer groups have legal aid cabinets that help individual consumers in their claims to organize lecturescourses and consumer education.
Types of Consumer Associations
The first consumer associations appear in Europe in the late nineteenth century.In 1935, several associations in the U.S. are created to defend individual consumers. Nowadays, there are Consumer Associations in all countries of the world where there is a strong production of goods and services and where consumers have a certain purchasing power. In Third World countries, the consumerist movement, is still in a nascent stage of development.
There are different types of consumer associations and usually different types of organizations coexist in the same country. English type associations that support themselves from the sale of its publications, focusing their activity on the comparative analysis of products. The federal type associations grouped in trade union organizations, family and consumer cooperatives. Institutes and research laboratories, working to provide information to consumer associations.
Consumer organizations in Spain
The first consumer associations emerged in 1957.Today there are two types of associations: those created prior to 1975, consisting of housewives, and those that have arisen as a result of a particular topic.There are numerous consumer organizations located throughout the country. Some of them are
- The Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU). Its objectives are to inform, educate, advocate and represent their members and the general interests of consumers.
- The Federation of Associations of housewives, consumers and users (FEACU). They represent 250,000 members involved in various technical committees on institutional aspects consumption.
- Consumers Union of Spain (UCE). It consists 110 000 members. The general defense of consumers interests are included in its objectives.
- The General Association of Consumers (ASGECO). Created from a group of cooperatives and now reaches more than 200. Their activities: information and consumer guidance through seminars and workshops.