The European confederation of co-operatives in industry and services turns 40 this year. To mark this milestone anniversary, Cecop-Cicopa Europe, which affiliates 26 members in 15 European countries, will be hosting its general assembly in Manchester, where a group of co-operators set up the organisation in 1979.
The event will take place on 20-22 June, bringing together co-operators from industrial and service co-operatives from across Europe.
Cecop represents 50,000 enterprises employing 1.3 million workers. Over 95% of these co-ops are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
In addition to planning a series of events in Manchester, Cecop is also launching a social media campaign – #CECOP40 – to showcase its member co-ops.
The first to be featured on its website is UK worker co-op Suma, the largest independent wholefood wholesaler in the country. Suma is also the UK’s largest worker co-operatives, with a turnover of £48m.
Based in Leeds, the co-op operates an equal pay policy. The co-op provides a range of free-from, gluten-free and vegan produce.
Its products can be found on the shelves of independent retailers, food buying co-operatives, small supermarket chains and Co-op Group food stores. Suma also supplies a number of institutions and has been selling products online through its website since 2009.
An organic food pioneer, Suma celebrated its own 40th anniversary in 2017.