Fabric mural celebrates life and impact of Robert Owen

Museum Mural

Schoolchildren helped to celebrate Robert Owen’s birthday celebrations in his Newtown hometown. The life of the father of co-operation, who set up the basis of co-operative principles in business, was marked on 14 May at the Robert Owen Museum in the town. At the event, mayor Rina Clarke unveiled a fabric mural designed by the children to celebrate […]


Fairtrade Fortnight 2015

Members of Kuapa Kokoo Co-operative, Ghana, and Dorthy Chikwiti, a Satemwa Tea Estate worker in Malawi

  This year Fairtrade celebrated its 20th anniversary – and Fairtrade Fortnight 2015 (23 February – 8 March) aims to make people even more aware of what Fairtrade is and how buying Fairtrade makes a difference. 78% of the UK public recognise the Fairtrade mark, but, according to the organisation, “over half still don’t actively […]


Shoppers share their views through hi-tech trollies

Shoppers can share their experiences as they walk around the store

Customers are being asked to share their shopping experiences as they walk around Co-operative Group stores. Selected branches are featuring hi-tech trollies, with a tablet device fixed to the handle, to encourage shoppers to express their opinions on key issues as they go around the store. When customers arrive at the various in-store sections, such […]


Putting the fifth principle into practice

The eight toolkits are designed to work alongside a series of short animations

The co-operative principles, the guidelines by which co-ops put their values into practice, are at the heart of what makes co-operatives different. The fifth principle states that co-operatives must provide education and training to both their members, elected representatives, managers and employees (so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives) and the […]


Co-operatives celebrate work from across the West Midlands

Vivian Woodell, Nick Matthews and Ramsay Dunning at the Co-operatives West Midlands networking lunch

Co-operators from across the West Midlands celebrated the work of its 700 co-operatives, despite negative publicity surrounding the business model over recent months. Nick Matthews, chair of Co-operatives West Midlands, who opened the organisation’s annual networking lunch in Birmingham last week, said: “Despite what you hear, the co-operative movement is alive and well, and doing […]


Small co-operative community champions: Unicorn grocery


Unicorn is a wholefood grocery and worker co-operative in Manchester with a strong focus on organic, regional and fairly traded produce. The co-operative buys preferentially from other co-operatives where it can and has a lot of co-operative suppliers, from the big wholesalers like Suma and Essential to small enterprises like the Handmade Bakery, Moss Brook Growers and […]


Community impact index: Find out how co-operatives perform


It is often believed co-operatives give much more support to the communities they operate in when compared to their corporate rivals, but where is the evidence for this? When examined does the sector truly have stronger links with the people they serve? And where those links exist, is the co-operative difference being witnessed in neighbourhoods? […]


How are co-operatives investing in communities?

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The community impact index is not a definitive statement on which organisations carry out more, or less, community activity than others. What it shows is the total reported community investment activity of these organisations, ranked according to percentage of pre-tax profits. There are limitations to this reported data, both in terms of what is reported and […]


Small co-operative community champions: FC United


FC United is a community-owned football club in Manchester, set up by fans in 2005. The organisation’s manifesto states that the club will seek to be of benefit to its local communities, with an aspiration that a fan-owned football club would have more of a positive community impact than a privately-owned club. FC United’s community […]