The limitations of agricultural producer organisations

Producer organisations (PO) were established in 1972 to support the agricultural sector

Dr Jane F. Eastham looks at the role of Producer Organisations in the EU agricultural sector – and raises the question of just how effective this form of collective action can really be. The producer organisation (PO) regime now covers all agricultural sectors in the EU, in an effort to encourage collective action to promote […]


Reaching out for the Co-op Party

Claire McCarthy is looking to build on relations with Labour and the unions. Photograph: Andrew Wiard

On 2 November, Claire McCarthy took over as the new secretary general of the Co-operative Party. Ms McCarthy has been the Party’s head of external and political affairs for the past two years, having previously worked as a special adviser, public affairs professional and charity leader. Here, she discusses the Party’s agenda for the future […]


Suffragette movie casts light on a co-operator’s struggle

The recent movie Suffragette follows the often traumatic efforts to attain votes for women

Sarah Gavron’s acclaimed film Suffragette has thrown a welcome spotlight on the struggle for women’s votes. Jane Avery, director of Central England Co-operative Membership, attended the screening at Leicester’s independent Phoenix cinema, where the descendent of suffragette – and co-operator – Alice Hawkins was on hand to give a talk. Suffragette follows a member of […]


Can the co-op movement help save the UK steel industry?

Redcar steelworks in Teesside was sold to the Thai conglomerate SSI in 2010. Photograph: FiveTimes5/Flickr

Britain’s steel industry is facing catastrophe. A triple whammy of cheap imports, a slump in demand and rising energy costs means one in six UK workers is facing the axe. Up on Teesside, 2,200 jobs have already gone after SSI , owner of the Redcar steelworks, went into liquidation. Tata, which owns the remnants of […]


Double whammy ‘will destroy solar co-ops’

Up to 27,000 of the 35,000 people working in solar energy could lose their jobs if the feed-in tariff cuts go through

Solar panel installers say the government’s roll-back of subsidies and tax relief for community energy is jeopardising the future of solar co-operatives. In August the Department of Energy and Climate Change proposed to cut the feed-in tariff (FiT) by 87%, from 12.4p to 1.6p, taking effect from January 2016. And last month the Treasury announced […]


Editorial: The time is right for co-operatives to be mainstream

The Alliance's 'Co-operatives for a Better World' campaign aims to raise awareness of the model

Our international movement entered a new period last week with the election of Monique Leroux as International Co-operative Alliance president. Pauline Green has been a strong voice for both the British and global movement from meetings with Pope Francis through to representing co-ops at the B20 meetings. Now Ms Leroux will bring a new era as the […]


Latin American credit unions explore strategies for growth through technology

Woccu's workshop on technological growth strategies attracted participants from 11 countries throughout Latin America

Nearly 200 credit union professionals from Latin America convened last week for a technical workshop in Cartagena, Colombia, to explore payment trends and innovative initiatives to engage more young members off and online. The World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions, which promotes the sustainable development […]


Archbishop opens community bank

The Archbishop of York John Sentamu is continuing the Church of England's support of financial co-operatives
Photograph: Keith Blundy / Durham Diocese

The Archbishop of York has thrown his support behind a new community bank in Hexham, Northumberland. On 6 November, the Archbishop Dr John Sentamu opened Tynedale Community Bank, which was established to give local people easy access to their cash, stop them taking loans from payday lenders and offer them a safe place to store their cash. All profits will […]


College working to rebuild the co-operative movement in Sri Lanka

Jane Collis with the participants in a training session in Sri Lanka.

The Co-operative College has given an update on its work in Sri Lanka, where it has spent several years helping to strengthen the co-operative movement. In July, the College’s team travelled across the country’s Northern Province to observe local trainers in action. During the tour, the College team trained 20 co-operative consultants – four from each of the five districts of […]