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Co-operatives on top!

Friday, February 4, 2011

A recently released report released by Co-operativesUK compares the public’s perception of co-operative businesses compared to Ltd companies, the PLCs. Co-operative businesses are four times more likely to be described as ‘fair’ and ‘honest’ compared to Ltd companies, which conversely are seven times more likely to be described as ‘greedy’ by consumers.


The report, Good business? Public perceptions of co-operation, also shows that co-operatives are seen as more beneficial for the public, being thought of as local, trustworthy, profit sharing, fair, customer owned and democratic. The growth of the co-operative sector supports this.


Last year, whilst the UK economy as a whole contracted by 4.9%, the co-operative economy grew by 15.8% to 33.5 billion. This is partly down to the success of The Co-operative Group, but also stems from the success of over 4,990 other co-operatives in the UK which have continued to thrive. Interestingly, despite the co-operative sector outperforming the UK economy as a whole, only 52% of people associate co-operatives with profitability, indicating that co-operatives need to do more to demonstrate that they are not just fair but also successful businesses.


Although co-operatives form a global movement with over 800 million members and 100 million employees - which is 20% more employees than all multinational enterprises put together - only three out of ten people see co-operatives as global, whereas seven out of ten see PLCs as global.


Meg Munn, a Co-operative Party MP herself, commented:


“As a co-operator myself I’m really pleased that the general public have a generally positive attitude toward the sector. We can build on this and expand the areas that the co-operative and mutual models of organisation are involved in.”


Ed mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK and co-author of the report, said:


 “Co-operatives are seen in a very positive light. There is of course work still to do, but the time is right to press for a more co-operative economy.”


For details visit: http://www.uk.coop/goodbusiness

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