Len Wardle delivered a keynote speech at the Opening Ceremony of Co-operatives United, on behalf of the Co-operative Group.
The Chair of the Group said: “I would like to welcome you to Manchester on behalf of the Co-operative Group”
Mr Wardle said in spite of the “grey sky” and “damp weather”, Manchester has co-operation rooted in its history.
“We, the Co-operative Group, have been in Manchester for almost 150 years-next year will be our birthday for 150 years.
He further explained that one of the things co-operators from all over the world should do is to promote their ethical policies.
“In recent years it’s been quite clear that the old model of capitalism has lost the trust of the people therefore old-fashioned co-operative values have been reawakened.
“Today you don’t need to hide away the Rochdale Pioneers in dusty history books,” he said.
Len Warle also said the values promoted by the Pioneers are as valid today as in the past.
The Co-op Group’s Chair also said co-operators need to exchange views and exchange values to boost the movement’s profile.
Len Wardle ended his speech with two quotes highlighting the importance of having a common co-operative vision.
Where there is no vision the people perish” it is written in the Bible. “It is our duty as cooperators to give this vision”, he said.
The second quote used by Mr Wardle was “When I dipt into the future far as human eye could see. Saw the Vision of the world and all the wonder that would be” by Alfred Lord Tennyson.