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UK co-operatives buck the recession

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Co-operative businesses in the United Kingdom have pushed up their turnover to almost 29 billion it was revealed at Co-operatives 2009. The UK’s 4,820 jointly owned, democratically controlled co-operative businesses reported that their combined performance was 5% up on the previous year.


Responding to the news former Co-operativeUK Congress President, and Co-operative MP, Meg Munn said:


“I am delighted by these figures. They show that it has been another good year for the sector, which is at a time of declining trust in plcs since the credit crunch hit.  As I said in May in the House of Commons during the debate on the latest Co-operative Bill, co-operatives may be centuries old in their conception but they are even more important in the 21st century as these figures clearly demonstrate.”


The figures include not only the consumer owned high street “Co-operative” shops, but also employee owned co-operatives, co-operative consortia, agricultural co-operatives, housing co-operatives, fishing co-operatives, credit unions and community owned co‑operatives and mutual businesses.


Dame Pauline Green, Chief Executive of Co-operativesUK, said:


“Behind every pound of turnover there lies a story of individuals working in a co-operative and collaborative way. Whether that is to provide affordable credit to members in a credit union or workers coming together to follow a common agenda of creating meaningful employment, co-operation is the business model of choice.


“In addition to financial performance, co-operatives are measured by a range of social and ethical objectives and increasing our turnover and profitability allows us to contribute more to the communities we serve.”


The Co-operative UK 100 the annual ranking of the UK’s biggest co-operative businesses was also unveiled. The top ten co-operative businesses in the UK are the Co-operative Group, John Lewis Partnership, Midlands Co-operative Society, The Midcounties Co‑operative Society, First Milk, The National Merchant Buying Society, Milk Link, East of England Co-operative Society, Scottish Midland Co-operative Society, Openfield Group.


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