Britain's third annual Co-operatives Fortnight, which concluded on July 7th, has been hailed as the biggest and best yet by Movement leaders.
Figures issued by Co-operatives UK showed the event generated 25 pieces of positive national media coverage; was seen by millions of BBC TV Breakfast viewers; reached 380,000 people via social networking website Twitter on the launch day alone and impacted on tens of thousands of Co-op shoppers.
Organisers say that, thanks to the efforts of thousands of Co-op staff and members, the Fortnight demonstrated how co-operative businesses are providing alternatives to austerity and kick-starting a new economy. Hundreds of events were staged across the country including the launch of the sector’s first mobile app, Co-operate, which includes details of 14,000 co-operative outlets around the UK.
The two-week campaign also saw the Financial Times publish a four-page supplement on the co-op economy while the UK Government made three announcements regarding the Co-op and mutual sector.
Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, commented: “Co-operatives Fortnight has once again seen 14 days of activism and engagement. Through the help of our sponsors and the activities of co-operatives, their members and supporters across the country, millions of people have had the chance to see how co-operatives help build a stronger, ethical economy.
“At a time when people are searching for alternatives to austerity, co-operatives are outperforming the wider economy and providing a successful and fair approach to business. Co-operatives Fortnight has showcased the resilience of co-operative business.”
Mark Robinson-Field, National Co-operative and Membership Manager for the Co-operative Group, added: “Supporting Co-operatives Fortnight allows our retail colleagues to unite and communicate messages in a consistent way.
“Our ‘Co-operatives Make the World Smile’ days (involving 4,500 Co-op stores around the UK) enabled us to raise the profile of co-operatives: explain why we are different and, ultimately, why we make our customers, members and communities smile.”