The sixth principle of co-operation between co-ops is one indicator to measure the co-operative difference.
It is not a standard reporting measure within the sector, but as Co-operatives UK’s head of co-operative advice Helen Barber says in this report, the co-operative difference is “fundamentally different” and can be measured in many ways including “investment in co-op initiatives”.
Here the co-operative support index looks at the impact of co-ops on other co-ops. From the 20 organisations measured, over £800,000 was reinvested back into the sector.
Lincolnshire Co-operative monitors its performance by using ten indicators that have been produced by Co-operatives UK in its Co-operative Performance Indicators. One of these indicators is investment in community and co-operative initiatives, which helps meet the needs of local and co-operative communities. In 2013, Lincolnshire invested £937,521 in community initiatives and £50,000 in co-operatives. This represents about 6.1% of the society’s pre-tax profit. It is also an increase from the previous year, when the co-op has invested £842,879 in community initiatives and a further £45,000 in co-operatives equating to around 6.2% of pre-tax profits.
The society supports Lincolnshire Co-operative Development Agency to help it provide advice and support for new co-ops, including housing and worker co-ops. One of the co-ops receiving support was Revival, a community-based co-operative that provides leisure and learning opportunities for health and well-being. Lincolnshire also supported the running of Lincolnshire Credit Union and Beewise Credit Union.
In an act of co-operation, members of Lincolnshire Credit Union who also have a co-op dividend card can pay in at any Lincolnshire Co-op store, while staff from Lincolnshire Co-operative receive access to a saving scheme through Beewise Credit Union.
Beewise is run by, and on behalf of, those in receipt of an income from Lincolnshire Co-op, so its members include employees and pensioners.
|Organisation name||Total reported investment in supporting UK co-operative development||Total UK & overseas as % pre tax profits (2013)||-2012|
|The largest UK consumer co-operatives|
|Central England Co-operative||£323,000||2.94%||n/a|
|Chelmsford Star Co-operative||£32,539||1.92%||4.21%|
|East of England Co-operative||£67,303||1.01%||2.64%|
Read more … Concern for the community: find out how co-operatives perform in the Community Impact Index: www.thenews.coop/impact