Co-op News November 2021

The November edition of Co-op News: connecting, challenging and championing the global co-operative movement. This issue comes after a busy conference season for the co-op movement as it assesses the challenges around climate change, Covid-19 and the evolving regulatory and policy environment. We've got reports from the Coop Impact conference, organised for the USA national co-op movement by apex body NCBA CLUSA, the UK's Confederation of Co-operative Housing, the UK Co-op Party conference, the Global Innovation Co-op Summit, the EMES International Research Conference, and the CFCFE conference on credit unions. And we look ahead to the World Cooperative Congress and the COP26 climate summit. Plus there's part one of our Christmas gift guide and the latest news on the co-op response to policy initiatives on climate change.

The November edition of Co-op News: connecting, challenging and championing the global co-operative movement. This issue comes after a busy conference season for the co-op movement as it assesses the challenges around climate change, Covid-19 and the evolving regulatory and policy environment. We've got reports from the Coop Impact conference, organised for the USA national co-op movement by apex body NCBA CLUSA, the UK's Confederation of Co-operative Housing, the UK Co-op Party conference, the Global Innovation Co-op Summit, the EMES International Research Conference, and the CFCFE conference on credit unions. And we look ahead to the World Cooperative Congress and the COP26 climate summit. Plus there's part one of our Christmas gift guide and the latest news on the co-op response to policy initiatives on climate change.


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Established in 1871, <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

<strong>News</strong> is published by <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

Press Ltd, a registered society under<br />

the <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative and <strong>Co</strong>mmunity<br />

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and unincorporated organisations.<br />

September and October are always busy months in terms of conferences<br />

- but this season has seemed particularly packed as organisations<br />

planned elaborate online sessions, and others tentatively brought back<br />

in-person elements.<br />

This issue we have covered eight of them, ranging from politics, energy and<br />

housing to research and credit union events - and we have also included<br />

a full preview of the 33rd World <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative <strong>Co</strong>ngress, taking place as a<br />

hybrid event in Seoul, Republic of Korea, and on line in just over a month.<br />

This <strong>Co</strong>ngress has been a long time coming. Originally scheduled for last<br />

year to celebrate the 125th anniversary of its organiser, the International<br />

<strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative Alliance (ICA), and the 25th anniversary of the Statement of<br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative Identity, it was delayed by <strong>Co</strong>vid-19 and is now taking place<br />

on 1-3 December - with registration for both in-person and online tickets<br />

closing later in <strong>November</strong>.<br />

Ahead of this event, we spoke with ICA president, Ariel Guarco, whose<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>erative journey began in Argentina at a very young age. In our interview,<br />

he talks about "<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative Identity with a capital I" (p22-23).<br />

"<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative Identity is not static and has not emerged overnight," he says.<br />

Sticking on the <strong>Co</strong>ngress theme, as <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> <strong>News</strong> continues in its 150th year,<br />

we look back at how we covered the first <strong>Co</strong>ngress in 1895, and what that<br />

tells us about how pe<strong>op</strong>le felt about the event.<br />

"The first <strong>Co</strong>ngress is fascinating because even in the verbatim report you<br />

get a feel for the excitement," says Gillian Lonergan, retired co-<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

librarian and <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> Press director.<br />

Her message for potential delegates? "Make sure that you keep that<br />

enthusiasm and <strong>op</strong>en-minded sense of 'what can I come back with from<br />

this?' and 'what can I bring to my own country from this?"'<br />

The <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative <strong>News</strong> mission<br />

statement is to connect, champion<br />

and challenge the global co-<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

movement, through fair and objective<br />

journalism and <strong>op</strong>en and honest<br />

comment and debate. <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> <strong>News</strong><br />

is, on occasion, supported by co-<strong>op</strong>s,<br />

but final editorial control remains with<br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative <strong>News</strong> unless specifically<br />

labelled 'advertorial'. The information<br />

and views set out in <strong>op</strong>inion articles<br />

and letters do not necessarily reflect<br />

the <strong>op</strong>inion of <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative <strong>News</strong>.<br />

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NOVEMBER <strong>2021</strong> I 3



<strong>Co</strong>mmunity energy group bids for offshore<br />

wind (p6); ICA president Ariel Guarco<br />

speaks about co-<strong>op</strong>erative identity ahead of<br />

the World <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative <strong>Co</strong>ngress (p22-23);<br />

Part one of our co-<strong>op</strong> Christmas gift guide<br />

(p44-45); How is co-<strong>op</strong> housing putting<br />

sustainability in its agenda? (p36-37);<br />

Labour and <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> MP Preet Kaur Gill at the<br />

<strong>2021</strong> Labour Party <strong>Co</strong>nference (p26-27)<br />

COVER: ICA president Ariel Guarco<br />

discusses heritage, the global<br />

movement and co-<strong>op</strong>erative identity<br />

ahead of the World <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative<br />

<strong>Co</strong>ngress in December<br />

Read more: p22-23 and p38-39<br />

22-23 MEET ... ARIEL GUARCO<br />

Q&A with the president of the<br />

International <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative Alliance<br />



<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> contributions at the party's<br />

annual conference in Brighton<br />


'We are the doers and the makers' -a<br />

celebration of the community power<br />


Governance and regulation for credit<br />

unions in Eur<strong>op</strong>e<br />


Life after subsidies: Partnership <strong>op</strong>tions<br />

for community energy<br />


Exploring trends in tech and social<br />

innovation<br />

33-35 COOP IMPACT<br />

Expanding the conversation on<br />

co­<strong>op</strong>erative identity<br />

36-37 CO-OPERATIVE HOUSING Putting<br />

sustainability and climate change at the<br />

core of the agenda<br />


A preview of the 33rd World <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative<br />

<strong>Co</strong>ngress taking place in December<br />


Latest research on the social economy<br />


<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>eratives UK Report on the role of<br />

co-<strong>op</strong> action post-COP26<br />


Part one of our seasonal co-<strong>op</strong> gift guide<br />

46-47 CO-OP NEWS AT 150<br />

How the publication reported on World<br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative <strong>Co</strong>ngresses<br />


5-13 UK updates<br />

15-21 Global updates<br />

24 Letters<br />

25 Obituaries<br />

48-49 Reviews<br />

50 Events<br />

4 I NOVEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

NEWS<br />


Government's net zero<br />

strategy offers 'no<br />

practical support' for<br />

community energy<br />

The government released its net zero<br />

strategy in October, setting out its policies<br />

and pr<strong>op</strong>osals for decarbonising all sectors<br />

of the UK economy in a bid to meet its net<br />

zero target by 2050.<br />

It says the strategy "will secure 440,000<br />

well-paid jobs and unlock £90bn in<br />

investment in 2030", with measures<br />

designed to drive the transition to new<br />

technologies such as electric vehicles, heat<br />

pumps, carbon capture, hydrogen, and<br />

sustainable aviation fuel alongside plans<br />

to restore approximately 280,000 hectares<br />

of peat in England by 2050 and create at<br />

least 30,000 hectares of woodland per year<br />

across the UK by the end of this Parliament.<br />

But <strong>Co</strong>mmunity Energy England<br />

the sector body for community energy<br />

businesses - said it contains "no practical<br />

support measures to harness the potential<br />

of community energy".<br />

This is despite a recommendation in<br />

April by MPs on the Environmental Audit<br />

<strong>Co</strong>mmittee, which highlighted the benefits<br />

of community energy in terms of creating<br />

jobs, boosting local economies, tackling<br />

fuel poverty and engaging citizens in<br />

community energy.<br />

"We heard that the same benefits will<br />

not be achieved if energy decarbonisation<br />

is only achieved via commercial, largescale<br />

renewable projects," the committee<br />

warned. "Due to the urgency of the climate<br />

crisis and the vital roles communities<br />

will have to play in reaching net zero, it is<br />

essential that a timely solution to support<br />

the long-term growth of community energy<br />

across the UK is found."<br />

CEE added: "The Climate Change<br />

<strong>Co</strong>mmittee's Sixth Carbon Budget said<br />

unequivocally, 'if the pe<strong>op</strong>le of the UK are<br />

not engaged in this challenge - the UK will<br />

not deliver Net Zero by 2050 ... pe<strong>op</strong>le need<br />

to be brought into the decision-making<br />

process and derive a sense of ownership of<br />

the Net Zero project.'<br />

"<strong>Co</strong>mmunity energy is a key way of<br />

engaging pe<strong>op</strong>le to 'own' the Net Zero<br />

project and is essential to achieving it."<br />

The government strategy declares an<br />

intention "to work in partnership with<br />

pe<strong>op</strong>le and communities across the country.<br />

To do so, we will empower local leaders to<br />

kickstart their own net zero initiatives". But<br />

CEE says: "'Local leaders' seems mostly to<br />

mean local government leaders and much<br />

of the funding signposted seems to be for<br />

local government. This disregards the<br />

local leaders of the 424 community energy<br />

groups across the UK who have done far<br />

more by way of integrating activity on the<br />

ground, kickstarting their own net zero<br />

initiatives and delivering wider community<br />

benefits from them, than the vast majority<br />

of council leaders over the last 10 years.<br />

"Failing to support community energy is<br />

planning to fail to meet net zero."<br />

However, community energy does not<br />

go unmentioned, and the strategy includes<br />

a case study from Cuckmere <strong>Co</strong>mmunity<br />

Solar and Riding Sunbeams, who are<br />

working with Network Rail to devel<strong>op</strong> solar<br />

powered rail. But while it acknowledges<br />

the potential of community energy "it<br />

omits to say that realising that potential<br />

is dependent, at least in part, on some<br />

support from government for the sector",<br />

says CEE.<br />

CEE adds: "The Net Zero Strategy boasts<br />

of the Rural <strong>Co</strong>mmunity Energy Fund but<br />

omits to mention that it ends in April 2022<br />

and that the Urban <strong>Co</strong>mmunity Energy<br />

Fund was prematurely withdrawn in 2016<br />

with £Sm unspent. No successor to these<br />

schemes is promised. It also mentions<br />

the support for knowledge sharing given<br />

to <strong>Co</strong>mmunity Energy England (a few<br />

thousand pounds, with match-funding<br />

requirements) and that this 'can help<br />

communities devel<strong>op</strong> their own schemes'.<br />

Sadly this is unlikely when the sector<br />

struggles to make an investment case for<br />

all but very exceptional projects."<br />

The strategy also mentions the widening<br />

of the Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme<br />

to include <strong>Co</strong>mmunity Energy from<br />

2022, but CEE argues that this "fails to<br />

mention that this only applies to 30o/o of<br />

the available funding which would be a<br />

maximum of around £2.3m a year".<br />

CEE adds: "We are informed that support<br />

for community energy may be forthcoming<br />

early next year, depending on the<br />

departmental budget that BEIS receives in<br />

the <strong>Co</strong>mprehensive Spending Review. This<br />

will very much depend on BEIS ministers<br />

being convinced that it is important<br />

and good value for money over the next<br />

four months. "<br />

It calls on members to write to their MP<br />

"expressing your extreme disappointment<br />

that the government did not follow<br />

the advice of the Environmental Audit<br />

<strong>Co</strong>mmittee to 'emphasise the importance<br />

of community energy in the Net Zero<br />

Strategy' and put in place 'practical<br />

support measures to harness the potential<br />

of community energy'."<br />

► <strong>Co</strong>mmunity bid for offshore wind: p6<br />

► <strong>Co</strong>mmunity energy conference: p31<br />

► Housing co-<strong>op</strong>s look at retrofit: p36-37<br />

► <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> movement calls for action: p42-43<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2021</strong> I 5

RETAIL<br />

East of England reports six-month sales growth and £3.4m profit<br />

East of England <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> has reported sales<br />

growth in its first-half results, reaching<br />

£196.Sm in sales and an underlying<br />

trading profit of £3.4m.<br />

Sales were £0.6m ahead of the same<br />

period last year - when sh<strong>op</strong>pers rushed<br />

to stores for the first lockdown - although<br />

food sales alone were lower. Sales were<br />

£3.2m ahead of the 2019/20 financial year.<br />

Doug Field, joint chief executive, said:<br />

"This year, like those previous, has been<br />

impacted by the <strong>Co</strong>vid-19 pandemic. Food<br />

store sales are £6.6m (3.6o/o) lower than<br />

in 2020/21, where government lockdowns<br />

and restrictions led to more pe<strong>op</strong>le<br />

sh<strong>op</strong>ping locally. This decline in food<br />

store sales has however been more than<br />

offset by an increase in sales from our<br />

petrol filling stations, funeral and travel<br />

businesses.<br />

"Pleasingly, over a two-year period, our<br />

food business has seen its takings rise by<br />

almost 9o/o (over £13m).<br />

"Profits are down compared to 2020/21<br />

but this was to be expected. Our <strong>2021</strong>/22<br />

underlying trading profit of £3.4m was<br />

ahead of our expectations."<br />

Mr Field said demand is still down at<br />

the co-<strong>op</strong>'s travel arm but food stores,<br />

funerals, pr<strong>op</strong>erty and filling stations all<br />

generated profits. "We've continued to<br />

invest in our business to help fulfil the<br />

long-term potential of our co-<strong>op</strong>erative,<br />

investing £5.Sm in the first half of the<br />

financial year," he added.<br />

Investments include more than £1m on<br />

finishing the devel<strong>op</strong>ment of the society's<br />

former <strong>Co</strong>lchester department store, now<br />

called Foundation House. Preparatory<br />

work was carried out on a future<br />

devel<strong>op</strong>ment at the former Boss Hall Dairy<br />

site in Ipswich. The society also completed<br />

re branding of its filling stations.<br />

Investment in tech includes £1.lm on<br />

self-checkouts, alongside £0.Sm spent<br />

on business intelligence. "To help us<br />

best utilise that data and technology, to<br />

improve productivity, efficiency and our<br />

effectiveness, we're building our in-house<br />

capabilities through the provision of Data<br />

Analyst Apprenticeships," said Mr Field.<br />

He warned: "Looking ahead, we<br />

cannot ignore the supply chain issues<br />

which are impacting all areas of our<br />

business, through lack of stock for our<br />

food stores, rising costs of materials for<br />

our construction projects and reduced<br />

availability of technology components.<br />

"We'll continue to make a difference<br />

with the profit we generate, using it to<br />

improve the daily lives of our colleagues,<br />

members, customers and communities.<br />

There are challenges ahead but we're<br />

working hard to maximise the long-term<br />

potential of our business."<br />

ENERGY<br />

Charity partnership helps drive take-up of community solar<br />

Yorkshire-based community solar group<br />

Energise Barnsley is working with charity<br />

Age UK to increase the take up of solar and<br />

battery technology.<br />

Director Andy Heald says the<br />

organisation has already run fruitful<br />

schemes with the local authority and with<br />

Northern Power Grid to deploy battery<br />

storage to homes, in order to reduce stress<br />

on the grid.<br />

"Homes with solar panels were only<br />

using 20 or 30o/o of the energy generated,<br />

the rest was going to the grid," he said.<br />

"We wanted to see if we could save more<br />

energy to the battery".<br />

This fed into the organisation's newest<br />

project with Age UK, which secured<br />

funding from Ofgem to install 75 batteries<br />

in older social housing. The batteries<br />

mean tenants can use 85o/o of the solar<br />

generated on their rooft<strong>op</strong>s - saving them<br />

money, relieving pressure on the grid and<br />

driving the take up of new energy tariffs.<br />

Working with Age UK brings the<br />

benefit of a partnership with a trusted<br />

intermediary to educate tenants in the use<br />

and benefits of new smart energy systems<br />

when couple to solar and battery storage.<br />

"A home smart device rewards you<br />

for not using power when everyone else<br />

is, and a battery brings that flexibility -<br />

you can use more solar and charge your<br />

battery up at off-peak times when it's<br />

cheaper. We want houses to not use power<br />

when others are."<br />

Projects like this mean social tenants<br />

are not left out of the energy transition,<br />

says Mr Heald.<br />

Energise Barnsley has previously<br />

partnered with <strong>Co</strong>mmunity First Credit<br />

Union, donating £20,000 so the lender<br />

can deliver budgeting advice and debt<br />

servicing. Other funds from the solar<br />

revenue have gone to healthy cooking<br />

classes for pe<strong>op</strong>le with low income and<br />

a 'solar for skips' scheme in Goldthorpe<br />

village - which brings a skip to a street so<br />

residents can clear out their rubbish and<br />

smarten their gardens.<br />

The organisation is now working<br />

with Barnsley <strong>Co</strong>uncil to install solar on<br />

another 1,000 homes.<br />

It also looking to refinance its assets<br />

with a second community bond offer,<br />

with expected returns of 4o/o helped by an<br />

income stream that it linked to inflation.<br />

Find the bond offer at bit.ly/2Z9cCxB<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2021</strong> I 7

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> Impact <strong>2021</strong>:<br />

'It is time to re-examine our values<br />

and recommit to our principles'<br />

By Anca Voinea<br />

Hundreds of delegates from the USA<br />

and around the world joined NCBA<br />

CLUSA's <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> Impact <strong>Co</strong>nference,<br />

which looked to expand the<br />

conversation on co-<strong>op</strong>erative identity.<br />

Running from 4-8 October, the<br />

conference explored shared values<br />

and principles of the co-<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

community while connecting domestic<br />

and international co-<strong>op</strong>erative ideas<br />

and innovations.<br />

The <strong>op</strong>ening session featured<br />

Karl Fickenscher, acting assistant<br />

administrator of the Bureau for<br />

Devel<strong>op</strong>ment, Democracy and<br />

Innovation (DDI) at the US Agency for<br />

International Devel<strong>op</strong>ment (USAID).<br />

Mr Fickenscher highlighted the<br />

impact USAID co-<strong>op</strong>erative projects<br />

were having in Uganda, Mexico<br />

and Guatemala.<br />

"<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>s and credit unions are<br />

ideal partners for the agency, not<br />

only because their businesses would<br />

represent their communities, but also<br />

because they exist solely to benefit<br />

those communities," he said.<br />

One of the organisations working<br />

with USAID is the Overseas <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative<br />

Devel<strong>op</strong>ment <strong>Co</strong>uncil (OCDC). Executive<br />

director Paul Hazen said the ability to<br />

reach size and scale is part of the co<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

advantage.<br />

He referred to a recent OCDC study,<br />

which measured the difference co<strong>op</strong>s<br />

have made for members in Kenya,<br />

Poland, the Philippines and Peru.<br />

"We now have data that shows that<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>erative members are better off<br />

financially than non co-<strong>op</strong> members.<br />

This is true in all four countries and<br />

across all sectors," he said.<br />

The president of the International<br />

<strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative Alliance, Ariel Guarco,<br />

addressed the conference via a video<br />

message, highlighting the potential<br />

of co-<strong>op</strong>s to rebuild a fairer and more<br />

.A. Doug O'Brien, president and CEO of NCBA CLUSA addressing the conference<br />

sustainable world post <strong>Co</strong>vid-19. He<br />

invited delegates to the ICA's World<br />

<strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative <strong>Co</strong>ngress in December<br />

<strong>2021</strong> to continue the conversation<br />

around the co-<strong>op</strong>erative identity.<br />

Doug O'Brien, president and CEO<br />

of NCBA CLUSA, echoed the other<br />

speakers, pointing out the importance<br />

of the co-<strong>op</strong>erative identity and arguing<br />

that "without a deeper understanding<br />

of the co-<strong>op</strong>erative identity, neither<br />

those inside nor outside the co<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

community will capture the<br />

potential of co-<strong>op</strong>erative enterprise".<br />

Mr O'Brien argued that to deepen the<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>erative identity, the movement<br />

must first understand what the<br />

identity means in today's context.<br />

"<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>eratives should be the natural<br />

leader, when pe<strong>op</strong>le are looking to<br />

build more inclusive businesses and<br />

communities," he said.<br />

"And NCBA CLUSA has accepted this<br />

invitation to embrace our co-<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

identity so that we can make a greater<br />

impact. In today's context, for this to<br />

occur, co-<strong>op</strong>eratives must understand<br />

our co-<strong>op</strong>erative identity, share our<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>erative identity and act on our<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>erative identity."<br />

He called on co-<strong>op</strong>s to expand<br />

education efforts and engage<br />

with policymakers and warned<br />

that while there were pockets of<br />

educational excellence throughout the<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>erative community, more needed<br />

to be done.<br />

"Sharing the message of the co<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

difference is effective only<br />

when we act on our co-<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

identity as co-<strong>op</strong>erators. We must<br />

live up to our shared values and<br />

principles, if we expect to deepen the<br />

impact of our co-<strong>op</strong>eratives in our<br />

communities," he said.<br />

NCBA CLUSA has recently launched<br />

an initiative to identify and scale local,<br />

regional and national <strong>op</strong>portunities<br />

for co-<strong>op</strong>eratives to work together<br />

across sectors, acting on the 6th<br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative Principle - co-<strong>op</strong>eration<br />

among co-<strong>op</strong>eratives.<br />

"It is time for co-<strong>op</strong>s to ask<br />

themselves, is there more we can do<br />

to help create a truly inclusive and<br />

equitable economy, how can we work<br />

together to gauge success and failure,<br />

and hold each other accountable?"<br />

said Mr O'Brien.<br />

"It is time to re-examine our values<br />

and recommit to our principles. It's<br />

time for co-<strong>op</strong>erators everywhere to<br />

embrace our identity so that together<br />

we can make a greater impact."<br />

► See p34-35 for more from Impact<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2021</strong> I 33

equality, co-<strong>op</strong>erative devel<strong>op</strong>ment across the<br />

world, strengthening communities, and facing<br />

crises with strength.<br />

The final day, Friday 3 December, will largely<br />

focus on living the co-<strong>op</strong>erative identity. UN<br />

special rapporteur for extreme poverty and<br />

human rights Olivier De Schutter will join an<br />

<strong>op</strong>ening plenary and round-table discussion on<br />

how the UN's 2030 Sustainable Devel<strong>op</strong>ment<br />

Goals( SDGs) are being turned into effective local<br />

actions by co-<strong>op</strong>s around the world. ICA sectoral<br />

leaders will also present their ideas for meeting<br />

the SDGs, giving attendees an <strong>op</strong>portunity to feed<br />

back and contribute their own views.<br />

<strong>Co</strong>ngress will then split into five parallel<br />

sessions to reflect on how the movement is living<br />

its co-<strong>op</strong>erative identity through rewarding jobs,<br />

accessible health and social services, enhanced<br />

food security, affordable housing and energy as<br />

well as within the social and solidarity economy.<br />

Mr Guarco will close the <strong>Co</strong>ngress with final<br />

remarks and a look ahead to the next steps.<br />

In a message earlier this year, ICA director<br />

general Bruno Roelants pointed towards next<br />

year's ICA General Assembly as a place of<br />

action to take learnings from the <strong>2021</strong> World<br />

<strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative <strong>Co</strong>ngress. "Your voices will continue<br />

to be heard, and, as always, your <strong>op</strong>inions will<br />

matter," he said. "Not just at this historic event,<br />

but also after its closure in December through<br />

continued debates and conversations within our<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>erative movement ... ultimately culminating<br />

in our next General Assembly in June 2022, where<br />

the outcome of the debates will come to fruition."<br />

One of the key aims of the <strong>Co</strong>ngress is to<br />

showcase and find ways to harness the power<br />

of co-<strong>op</strong>eration in responding to the multiple<br />

crises of this century, including climate change,<br />

sustainable devel<strong>op</strong>ment, conflicts and violence,<br />

migration, inequality and<br />

the future of work.<br />

"We have evidence going<br />

back hundreds of years that<br />

shows us that co-<strong>op</strong>eration<br />

is not only for emergencies,"<br />

said Mr Guarco. "<strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>eration<br />

is a proven way to<br />

build a fairer, more balanced<br />

and a fundamentally less<br />

fragile economy in the face<br />

of global challenges. I look<br />

forward to engaging in many<br />

discussions in Seoul and<br />

showing the world that the<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>erative way can lead<br />

us to a stronger<br />

future."<br />

<strong>Co</strong>vid-19 has delayed the event but also offers<br />

an <strong>op</strong>portunity to celebrate the many responses<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>s have made to the crisis, and to look ahead<br />

to their role in the rebuilding process.<br />

Mr Guarco said: "The pandemic has claimed<br />

so many lives - and has also accentuated the<br />

existing inequalities in the world. Today, more<br />

than ever, the world needs an economic model<br />

with community leadership at its heart, focused<br />

on the common good. In short, the world needs to<br />

''<br />

embrace the co-<strong>op</strong>erative way of doing business<br />

and together, we can help to make the needed<br />

To emerge better from this pandemic, I<br />

passionately believe that the world must<br />

learn to co-<strong>op</strong>erate better with each other"<br />

shift. To emerge better from this pandemic, I<br />

passionately believe that the world must learn to<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>erate better with each other."<br />

Organisers of the World <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative <strong>Co</strong>ngress<br />

have assured attendees that all the necessary<br />

precautions are being made to ensure their safety.<br />

For further information and to register, visit<br />

icaworldco<strong>op</strong>congress.co<strong>op</strong>.<br />

The registration deadline for those planning to<br />

attend the <strong>Co</strong>ngress in person is 11 <strong>November</strong>;<br />

for those attending online, the deadline for<br />

registration is 22 <strong>November</strong>.

<strong>2021</strong><br />

Christntas<br />

giftguide<br />

T<strong>op</strong> gifts under<br />

As the festive season approaches, we've selected some t<strong>op</strong> gift picks from<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>s and ethical sh<strong>op</strong>s. We know budgets might be stretched more than<br />

usual this year, so we've compiled a list of gifts under £10 and £5 so you<br />

can still give ethically without breaking the bank ...<br />

TheWil\iam Morris<br />


Suffra-greats! t<strong>op</strong> trumps style card game.<br />

£9.99 ethicalsh<strong>op</strong>.org<br />

T<strong>op</strong> gifts under<br />

William Morris colouring book. £9.99<br />

newsfromnowhere.co.uk<br />

► Scented Tea Lights<br />

in Jasmine, Rose or<br />

Orange. £8.99 ethica/<br />

sh<strong>op</strong>.org<br />

◄ Kids' conversation<br />

cards from Craft <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong><br />

CIC. £8.99<br />

craftco<strong>op</strong>sh<strong>op</strong>.co.uk<br />

Bird cake kit made from recycled<br />

yoghurt pots. £9.95 ethica/sh<strong>op</strong>.org<br />

◄ Barrett's Ridge Beer Bread mix.<br />

£4.99 ethica/sh<strong>op</strong>.org<br />

► Divine fairtrade milk chocolate<br />

giant coin. £2.20<br />

divinechoco/ate.com<br />

► Recycled newspaper<br />

pencils. £4.95 paperhigh.com<br />

44 I NOVEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

And here are some more ethical treats if you still want to splash out for your<br />

nearest and dearest, whether they are ...<br />

Foodis ...<br />

Check out non-profit Zaytoun for<br />

Palestinian ingredients, giftboxes and<br />

cookbooks, as well as Spice Kitchen, a<br />

UK family run business, for cookware,<br />

cookbooks and silk sari-wrapped spice<br />

tin gift sets.<br />

zaytoun.uk<br />

spicekitchenuk.com<br />

Crafty ons ...<br />

Derbyshire-based Crafty You Crafty<br />

Me sell eco-consciously created<br />

mosaic, needle felting and sewing<br />

kits, including Christmas decoration<br />

kits.<br />

Stitch and Story, based in London,<br />

are on a mission to help more pe<strong>op</strong>le<br />

create personalised, meaningful and<br />

ethical items through their crochet<br />

and knitting kits, such as beginnerlevel<br />

slipper knitting kits.<br />

craftyyoucraftyme.com<br />

stitchandstory.com<br />

Yogis ..<br />

The <strong>Co</strong>llective Yoga <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative offers<br />

virtual yoga classes from their base in<br />

Illinois. You can purchase gift cards<br />

from the co-<strong>op</strong> which can be redeemed<br />

against their live classes and access to<br />

an on-demand library.<br />

thecollectiveyogaco<strong>op</strong>.com<br />

<strong>Co</strong>sy ons ...<br />

And for those who'd rather leave the<br />

making to the pros, you can find a<br />

range of woolly hot water bottle covers,<br />

teacosies, socks and jumpers from<br />

fair-trade knitwear company and 'slow<br />

fashion' pr<strong>op</strong>onents, Pachamama, as well<br />

as blankets, cushions, rugs and more<br />

from Cumbrian co-<strong>op</strong> The Wool Clip.<br />

pachamamaknitwear.com<br />

woo/clip.com<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2021</strong> [ 45

The <strong>Co</strong>vid-19 crisis had led to the postponement of many co-<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

events. However, a number of co-<strong>op</strong>eratives and apex bodies are holding<br />

on line webinars and meetings.<br />

We listed some of these below. If you would like to add any postponements<br />

- or let us know of any virtual events taking place instead, please email<br />

events@thenews.co<strong>op</strong><br />

Ella Baker School of Organising Training<br />

and Events<br />

23 October - 11 <strong>November</strong><br />

(Online and at COP26 in Glasgow)<br />

Free worksh<strong>op</strong>s and events, including<br />

online sessions on Self Care, <strong>Co</strong>llective<br />

Care and Activism, Transformative<br />

<strong>Co</strong>nversations and Black Lives Still Matter,<br />

plus in-person events at COP26.<br />

c-:> bit.ly/3BZBoOE<br />

Preston Meets Mondragon 2<br />

3 <strong>November</strong> <strong>2021</strong> (In-person)<br />

Symposium at the Centre for Citizenship<br />

and <strong>Co</strong>mmunities at the University of<br />

Central Lancashire on potential to adapt the<br />

Mondragon Model to Preston.<br />

c-:> bit.ly/2XuzSVM<br />

COOP26: A Client-Centred Green<br />

Transition driven by <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative Banks<br />

9 <strong>November</strong> <strong>2021</strong> (Online)<br />

The Eur<strong>op</strong>ean Association of <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

Banks (EACB) marks its contribution to<br />

COP26. The EACB, in collaboration with<br />

SMEunited, the association of crafts and<br />

SMEs in Eur<strong>op</strong>e, will highlight the role of<br />

co-<strong>op</strong> banks in the green transition.<br />

C-:> bit.ly/3/WBjpt<br />

Can co-<strong>op</strong>s keep the lights on?<br />

10 <strong>November</strong> (Online)<br />

Free event from <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>eratives West<br />

Midlands on co-<strong>op</strong> solutions to climate<br />

change, to coincide with COP26. Speakers<br />

include: Nadia Smith (South East London<br />

<strong>Co</strong>mmunity Energy); Mike Pickering<br />

(Midcounties <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>; Laurie Duncan<br />

(<strong>Co</strong>mmunity Energy Birmingham).<br />

c-:> bit.ly/3pqfKzH<br />

#TheNew<strong>Co</strong>mmonSense: Forging the<br />

<strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative Digital Economy<br />

12-18 <strong>November</strong> (Online and in-person)<br />

More than 80 co-<strong>op</strong>erative pioneers,<br />

workers, trade unionists, policymakers,<br />

researchers and activists gather from over<br />

20 countries, to assess how platform co-<strong>op</strong>s<br />

have responded to the pandemic, analyse<br />

policy, and zoom in on experiments with<br />

data co-<strong>op</strong>s, token systems, and crypto<br />

networks. Online and in Berlin, Germany.<br />

C-:> bit.ly/3ATV2KI<br />

Locality <strong>Co</strong>nvention<br />

12-18 <strong>November</strong> (Online and in-person)<br />

Week of discussions, talks and worksh<strong>op</strong>s<br />

for local community organisations, online<br />

and in-person at the Eastside Rooms in<br />

Birmingham.<br />

c-:> bit.ly/3m6Ql6N<br />

Practitioners Forum<br />

18 <strong>November</strong> (Online and in-person)<br />

Five specialist forums on communications,<br />

finance, governance, HR and membership<br />

as well as online sessions broadcast live<br />

for delegates who choose to attend online<br />

rather than in-person in Manchester.<br />

Issues include how to communicate the<br />

co-<strong>op</strong> unique selling point, how to adapt to<br />

consumer trends and SDG reporting.<br />

c-:> bit.ly/3aWHJOY<br />

ICA <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative Research <strong>Co</strong>nference and<br />

3rd International Forum on <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative Law<br />

28-30 <strong>November</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

The ICA is organising two preparatory<br />

research-based events within the framework<br />

of the World <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative <strong>Co</strong>ngress - the ICA<br />

<strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative Research <strong>Co</strong>nference and the<br />

3rd International Forum on <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative<br />

Law. Both events will be organised<br />

physically in the Grand Walkerhill Hotel as<br />

well as virtually through the <strong>Co</strong>ngress online<br />

platform. A total of 180 research papers from<br />

43 countries will be presented at the events,<br />

which will feature 18 special panel sessions,<br />

all dedicated to the <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative Identity.<br />

c-:> bit.ly/3nbo/DC<br />

World <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative <strong>Co</strong>ngress<br />

1-3 December <strong>2021</strong><br />

(Online and in-person)<br />

The 33rd World <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative <strong>Co</strong>ngress<br />

will enable the co-<strong>op</strong>erative movement to<br />

explore its identity to build a more secure<br />

future. Using the current global crisis as a<br />

framework, discussions will aim to deepen<br />

the co-<strong>op</strong>erative identity by examining<br />

its values, strengthening its actions,<br />

committing to its principles and living its<br />

achievements. This hybrid event will be<br />

held in person in Seoul, the Republic of<br />

Korea and online.<br />

C-:> icawor/dco<strong>op</strong>congress.co<strong>op</strong><br />

New Economy Programme<br />

(Various dates, online only)<br />

Stir to Action worksh<strong>op</strong>s on t<strong>op</strong>ics such<br />

as sociocracy, setting up a community<br />

food co-<strong>op</strong> and community engagement.<br />

Webinars cost between £20-£60.<br />

C-:> stirtoaction.com/worksh<strong>op</strong>s<br />

50 I NOVEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

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