Northern Ireland marks Co-operatives Fortnight with survey of the sector

Co-operative Alternatives – Northern Ireland’s leading co-op development agency – wants to know how people view the model

To mark the launch of Co-operatives Fortnight, Co-operative Alternatives has launched the Northern Ireland Co-operative Survey.

The survey aims to gather information about the co-operative movement in Northern Ireland to better understand how people perceive the co-operative model.

It will include questions on awareness and membership of co-ops and ask whether local people buy co-operative products or services.

“The theme of the fortnight – It’s Time to Co-operate – really got us thinking about the situation for co-ops in Northern Ireland,” said Co-operative Alternatives’ Tiziana O’Hara. “Here the co-operative model has a long history both in the agricultural sector and in credit unions.

“After the recent past decline, there’s a new wave of interest in co-ops here – with the aim of forming fairer worker-led businesses or from community organisations determined to strive for positive action to get things done in their areas.”

Co-operative Alternatives is Northern Ireland’s leading co-operative development agency, which aims to develop and support a strong co-op movement connected across the island of Ireland.

Ms O’Hara added that, while Northern Ireland is still “a bit behind the curve” in terms of new co-operative development, that is now changing.

“It’s an exciting time here,” she said. “This survey will help us to have a better understanding of how people feel about co-ops and will give us an insight into new conversations for the future.”

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