Co-op News December 2021

The December edition of Co-op News: connecting, challenging and championing the global co-operative movement. This issue we look at the issues around training, education and the sharing of information between co-ops. There's a look at how UK retail co-ops are using apprenticeships to try to create opportunity in local economies - tying in with politicians' rhetoric about 'levelling up' neglected parts of the country. We speak to the Co-op College's new CEO Neil Calvert and look at how co-ops are among community organisations sharing expertise as they revive Britain's waterways. Plus reports on co-op organising in Preston, Cincinnati and from Stir to Action. We also hear from Co-op Group MND Kate Allum and report on the co-op presence at COP26.

The December edition of Co-op News: connecting, challenging and championing the global co-operative movement. This issue we look at the issues around training, education and the sharing of information between co-ops. There's a look at how UK retail co-ops are using apprenticeships to try to create opportunity in local economies - tying in with politicians' rhetoric about 'levelling up' neglected parts of the country. We speak to the Co-op College's new CEO Neil Calvert and look at how co-ops are among community organisations sharing expertise as they revive Britain's waterways. Plus reports on co-op organising in Preston, Cincinnati and from Stir to Action. We also hear from Co-op Group MND Kate Allum and report on the co-op presence at COP26.


You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.



Christmas wrapping range goes plastic-free<br />

(p8); Guatemala: New service organisation<br />

will help credit unions lend to SMEs<br />

(p15); Power in Numbers - Lessons in<br />

co-<strong>op</strong> organising from Cincinnati (p38-39);<br />

<strong>Co</strong>mmunity waterways - canal mooring co<strong>op</strong><br />

joins the debate (p44-45); Part two of our<br />

co-<strong>op</strong> Christmas gift guide (p46-47)<br />

20·21 MEET ... MATT BLAND<br />

CEO of the <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> Credit Union<br />


New Economy Programme continues<br />

24·27 COP26<br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> reactions from the Climate<br />

<strong>Co</strong>nference<br />


<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> Group's Steve Murrells and Kua pa<br />

Kokoo's Bismark Kpabity join debate<br />

25 CO-OP BANKS<br />

Their role in driving the green transition<br />


Neil Calvert's goals for the <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> <strong>Co</strong>llege<br />

38-39 POWER IN NUMBERS<br />

Lessons in co-<strong>op</strong> organising from Cincinnati<br />

40·41 CO-OP GROUP MNDS<br />

How member nominated directors help<br />

steer the <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> Group<br />

COVER: For co-<strong>op</strong>s to be effective<br />

it's important they share<br />

learning and experience. We look<br />

at co-<strong>op</strong> education and training,<br />

and report from events where<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>s shared best practice<br />

Read more: p28-45<br />


Reaction to the government's climate<br />

plan<br />

27 COP26 AGREEMENT<br />

What do co-<strong>op</strong>eratives think?<br />


Locality calls for community power to<br />

tackle 21st century crises<br />


Key trends that co-<strong>op</strong>s need to watch out<br />

for, from the event organised by<br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>eratives UK<br />


Peer learning and Principle Six<br />


How Mondragon is helping Preston to<br />

devel<strong>op</strong> a co-<strong>op</strong>erative ecosystem<br />


Move on up: co-<strong>op</strong>s enabling social<br />

mobility<br />


Canal mooring co-<strong>op</strong> joins the debate<br />


Ethical ideas for a co-<strong>op</strong>erative Christmas<br />


5-12 UKNEWS<br />

13-19 GLOBAL NEWS<br />

22 Letters<br />

22-23 Obituaries<br />

48-49 Reviews<br />

50 Events<br />

4 I DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>


Welsh parliament<br />

considers Marcora Law<br />

In November the Welsh Senedd voted<br />

to back an employee ownership bill<br />

that would help workers buy out their<br />

employers' businesses in times of crisis.<br />

Huw Irranca-Davies, Labour and <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative<br />

MS for Ogmore and chair of the<br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative Senedd Group, introduced a<br />

motion on 20 October to consider a Welsh<br />

'Marcora Law', which would provide the<br />

legal framework, financial support and<br />

advice for workers to buy out all or part of<br />

a business facing closure or downsizing.<br />

The pr<strong>op</strong>osed legislation is inspired by<br />

the Italian Marcora Law, introduced in<br />

1985, which allows workers to invest their<br />

unemployment benefit and severance<br />

pay in recovering the business they had<br />

worked for, and provides support and<br />

advice throughout the process.<br />

The motion received support from the<br />

majority of the Senedd and ministers<br />

agreed to meet with Mr Irranca-Davies<br />

to discuss the pr<strong>op</strong>osed legislation. But<br />

Welsh minister for the economy Vaughan<br />

Gething abstained, saying: "If we were to<br />

introduce legislation in this area, more<br />

detailed discussions would be required to<br />

understand the benefit of doing so."<br />

Mr Gething said he had "an <strong>op</strong>en<br />

mind" about the pr<strong>op</strong>osed legislation,<br />

but cited challenges around the balance<br />

of Westminster's reserved powers and the<br />

Senedd's devolved powers - Westminster<br />

has reserved powers over employment<br />

and trade law.<br />

Mr Irranca-Davies acknowledged<br />

some of these challenges in the debate,<br />

but said that the Welsh government<br />

.&. Huw lrranca-Davies, Labour and <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative MS for Ogmore and chair of the <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

Senedd Group, introducing a motion on 20 October to consider a Welsh 'Marcora Law'<br />

has "levers that could prise <strong>op</strong>en a<br />

Welsh Marcora law within our devolved<br />

competencies," including powers over<br />

economic devel<strong>op</strong>ment, the Welsh<br />

Economic <strong>Co</strong>ntract, social partnership<br />

and procurement, as well as influence<br />

over companies in receipt of significant<br />

Welsh government funding.<br />

The Welsh government currently<br />

provides support for businesses around<br />

employee ownership through its Social<br />

Business Wales programme, delivered<br />

by the Wales <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative Centre<br />

(WCC), which has advised over 50 Welsh<br />

companies on ownership transition.<br />

The wee described the debate in the<br />

Senedd, and wider discussions about<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>eratives and employee-owned<br />

businesses, as "very encouraging". Rhodri<br />

Packman from the wee told <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

<strong>News</strong>: "While we do not have a formal<br />

Marcora arrangement, the new Welsh<br />

government's programme for government<br />

has committed to doubling the number<br />

of employee-owned businesses over<br />

the next Senedd term. We welcome<br />

this commitment, as the advantages of<br />

greater employee ownership of firms are<br />

proven, for the businesses, the workers<br />

themselves, and the communities they are<br />

rooted in."<br />

A similar pr<strong>op</strong>osal for a Marcora-style<br />

law was put forward in UK parliament<br />

last month, when Christina Rees, MP for<br />

Neath, led a debate on the potential for a<br />

British Marcora Law.<br />

Speaking at a <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative Party<br />

online event on 25 October, Ms Rees<br />

said that while the pr<strong>op</strong>osal had not<br />

garnered much of a response from the<br />

<strong>Co</strong>nservative government, it had resulted<br />

in a meeting with shadow secretary of<br />

state for business, energy and industrial<br />

strategy Ed Miliband's team to explore the<br />

possibility of putting the Marcora Law into<br />

Labour Party policy.<br />


Book celebrates iconic mural of co-<strong>op</strong>eration<br />

A new booklet celebrates the Three Ships<br />

mural built for the Hull & East Riding <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative<br />

Society department store, which<br />

later housed a branch of BHS.<br />

When the building was scheduled<br />

for demolition the area, co-<strong>op</strong>erators<br />

and local heritage lovers campaigned to<br />

remove and protect the mural.<br />

Now Esther Johnson, an artist,<br />

filmmaker and professor of film and<br />

media arts at Sheffield Hallam University,<br />

has released a social history of the site,<br />

Ships In The Sky: the <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> <strong>Co</strong>nnection,<br />

which brings together assorted ephemera<br />

and artefacts associated with its time as a<br />

co-<strong>op</strong> store.<br />

To mark the release, S<strong>op</strong>hie McCulloch<br />

from the National <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> Archive is sharing<br />

highlights of local co-<strong>op</strong> history on the<br />

shipsinthesky63 Instagram page.<br />

The booklet is available from The<br />

Modernist for £7: bit.ly/313NhpE<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong> I 7


GLOBAL<br />

Climate report<br />

brings bleak forecast<br />

for Fairtrade farmers<br />

A new study from Fairtrade International<br />

warns that millions of farmers face<br />

financial collapse from climate change.<br />

The most at risk areas identified in<br />

the Fairtrade and Climate Change report<br />

are Africa, Central America and the<br />

Caribbean, South America and south and<br />

south-east Asia.<br />

<strong>Co</strong>mpiled by researchers from the VU<br />

Amsterdam and Bern University of Applied<br />

Sciences and funded by the EU, the study<br />

assesses climate risk to Fairtrade cr<strong>op</strong>s<br />

such as cocoa, sugarcane, tea and cotton.<br />

Soaring temperatures, shifting rainfall<br />

patterns, and rising sea levels all pose a<br />

threat to farm productivity, leaving the<br />

sector looking for ways to avoid cr<strong>op</strong><br />

failure. Climate change also increases the<br />

risk of pests and cr<strong>op</strong> diseases.<br />

But co-<strong>op</strong> membership can help farmers<br />

adapt, says the report. "By increasing and<br />

balancing out their assets, farmers can<br />

become more resilient towards climate<br />

change; in practice, this means increasing<br />

off-farm income, keeping savings and<br />

attending farmer trainings."<br />

Most at risk, says the report, are<br />

Ghana (banana and cocoa), <strong>Co</strong>te d'Ivoire<br />

(sugarcane, tea), Tanzania (tea), <strong>Co</strong>sta Rica<br />

(coffee, sugarcane), Dominican Republic<br />

(banana, cocoa), Honduras (coffee),<br />

Mexico (coffee), Nicaragua (coffee), Brazil<br />

(cocoa, coffee), <strong>Co</strong>lombia (coffee), Peru<br />

(cocoa, coffee), India (coffee, sugarcane,<br />

tea) and Timor-Leste (cocoa, coffee).<br />

A <strong>Co</strong>ffee producer Felicita Castilla working in her field in San Miguel del Faique, Piura, Peru (Photo:<br />

Eduardo Martino for Fairtrade International)<br />

The report says banana producers in<br />

the Caribbean and in Central America<br />

are expected to face less rainfall and<br />

more extreme temperatures while those<br />

in south east Asia and Oceania will see<br />

more cyclones. <strong>Co</strong>ffee producers in Brazil,<br />

Central America and south India are<br />

at threat from temperature spikes and<br />

drought. <strong>Co</strong>coa farmers in the Dominican<br />

Republic, Peru, and West Africa could see<br />

more hot, dry weather, while producers in<br />

eastern Ghana and northern <strong>Co</strong>te d'Ivoire<br />

face heavier rains.<br />

"The results are extremely alarming<br />

and a clarion call for immediate and<br />

comprehensive climate action," warned<br />

Dr Nyagoy Nyong'o, global CEO at<br />

Fairtrade. "The threat to the future of<br />

many supply chains is very real and our<br />

planet's farmers and agricultural workers<br />

are on the frontline of this global climate<br />

crisis. We must do everything to ensure<br />

they are not left behind and that they are<br />

indeed a part of the solution."<br />

Options presented to farmers in the<br />

report include switching to agroforestry<br />

and the diversification of cr<strong>op</strong>s and<br />

livelihoods. Fairtrade can also increase<br />

its portfolio of commodities and support<br />

farmers in becoming more resilient.<br />

The research is based on literature<br />

reviews, spatial hotspot analysis, expert<br />

interviews and a survey of farmer co-<strong>op</strong>s.<br />

► Icmif discusses ethical investment: p14<br />

► COP26 and co-<strong>op</strong>s: p24-27<br />

11<br />


Glanbia dairy co-<strong>op</strong> has made an<br />

agreement to buy the 4Oo/o stake held by<br />

Glanbia plc in their joint venture Glanbia<br />

Ireland DAC, for an estimated €307m<br />

(£262m), subject to contract negotiations<br />

and shareholder approvals.<br />

The plc will contribute €8m related to<br />

pension, re branding and separation costs,<br />

while Glanbia <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>, which is looking<br />

to rebrand after the process is complete,<br />

will fund up to SOo/o of the transaction<br />

Glanbia <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> to buy out joint venture and considers rebrand<br />

through the sale of its shares in Glanbia<br />

plc, with the balance to be funded through<br />

borrowings. It also pr<strong>op</strong>oses to transfer 12<br />

million Glanbia plc shares to its members<br />

- worth an estimated €168m.<br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> chair John Murphy said: "If our<br />

members approve this pr<strong>op</strong>osal, we will<br />

have a very strong co-<strong>op</strong>. We will remain<br />

the largest investor in Glanbia plc, which<br />

is focused on growing as a global nutrition<br />

company."<br />

Industry organisations say members<br />

should carefully consider the pr<strong>op</strong>osals<br />

before approving them.<br />

Irish Farmers' Association president,<br />

Tim Cullinan, said: "This is a complex<br />

financial arrangement that will require<br />

careful scrutiny before members vote on<br />

the pr<strong>op</strong>osals. I would ask that Glanbia<br />

provide every <strong>op</strong>portunity for this plan to<br />

be discussed ahead of the SGM that will<br />

have to take place."<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong> I 13

- EUROPE<br />

Green finance<br />

and risk management:<br />

ICMIF shares best<br />

practice on climate<br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> and mutual insurers were<br />

represented at a high-level UN panel<br />

discussion on best practices that address<br />

climate action and the challenges made<br />

worse by the pandemic.<br />

The hybrid meeting, Delivering Climate<br />

Action - for Pe<strong>op</strong>le, for Planet & for<br />

Prosperity, was held in October at the UN<br />

headquarters in New York and formed<br />

part of the 76th President of the United<br />

Nations (UN) General Assembly.<br />

The meeting was looking for ways<br />

to bridge the gap between current and<br />

required technical and financial capacities<br />

to achieve the 1.SC target.<br />

Participants included the chair of the<br />

International <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative and Mutual<br />

Insurance Federation (ICMIF), Hilde<br />

Vernaillen, who described the work of the<br />

mutual and co-<strong>op</strong> insurance sector, which<br />

represents almost 30o/o of the world's<br />

insurance market and US$10tn in assets.<br />

Ms Vernaillen, who also chairs the<br />

management committee of Belgian<br />

insurance co-<strong>op</strong> P&V Group, said:<br />

"Insurance as an industry is uniquely<br />

positioned to make pe<strong>op</strong>le and our planet<br />

more resilient, as it has both the assets<br />

to invest in and, on the other side, the<br />

knowledge of the risks that need to be<br />

mitigated, both at the macro level and at<br />

the community level.<br />

"When it comes to financing and<br />

showing leadership we are really doing<br />

our bit and much of this financing is in the<br />

form of green bonds, social bonds, resilient<br />

bonds, and increasingly this funding is<br />

measured by impact investments."<br />

ICMIF's members are collectively<br />

investing US$570bn in responsible<br />

investments, such as green bonds, social<br />

bonds and resilience bonds, many of<br />

which will focus on climate change.<br />

Ms Vernaillen said the federation's<br />

partnership with the UN Office for Disaster<br />

Risk Reduction (UNDRR) could bring<br />

about "the real systemic change that the<br />

planet needs".<br />

In April <strong>2021</strong> ICMIF and the UNDRR<br />

published a joint report on the role of<br />

.._ Hilde Vernaillen, chair of the mutual insurance apex, was among speakers (Photo: ICMIF)<br />

co-<strong>op</strong> and mutual insurance in disaster<br />

risk reduction. The report summarised<br />

seven mechanisms for risk reduction and<br />

resilience. ICMIF is now monitoring and<br />

benchmarking the application of these<br />

mechanisms by its members as they work<br />

to embed the UN's 2015 Sendai Agreement<br />

on disaster risk reduction into their<br />

businesses.<br />

The partnership with the UNDRR,<br />

which started in 2019, is rolling out pilot<br />

initiatives to bring together the investment<br />

and risk parts of mutual insurance<br />

businesses.<br />

As part of this, ICMIF members are<br />

making sustainable investments in<br />

resilient infrastructure projects that need<br />

funding and will reduce risk of, or build<br />

resilience against, climate disasters. Each<br />

stakeholder will be asked to consider their<br />

investments in a different way and to work<br />

in partnership to deliver outcomes.<br />

Ms Vernaillen said the pilot will be<br />

scalable in II countries and could make<br />

communities more resilient.<br />

"We don't leave anybody behind<br />

because mutuals are all about being<br />

inclusive," she added.<br />

The panel also highlighted the<br />

importance of intergenerational dialogues<br />

and public-private partnerships in<br />

tackling the climate crisis.<br />

Sara Maria <strong>Co</strong>gnuck Gonzalez, UNICEF<br />

climate champion, said young pe<strong>op</strong>le<br />

face challenges when trying to secure<br />

financing for green projects, often needing<br />

10 years' work experience in the sector.<br />

Allen Blue, co-founder and vice<br />

president of product management at<br />

Linkedln, called on financial institutions<br />

to look for places where investment in<br />

green financing is low and fill those gaps as<br />

quickly as possible, rather than ad<strong>op</strong>ting<br />

a careful approach and expecting a return<br />

on every investment.<br />

Richard Mattison, president of S&P<br />

Global Sustainablel, and CEO of S&P<br />

Global Trucost, said green finance needs<br />

a clear definition. And he warned that the<br />

impact of investments will vary depending<br />

where in the world the money is spent.<br />

Green financing must also take into<br />

account resilience to existing climate<br />

challenges, as well as the transition to<br />

greener <strong>op</strong>tions, he said.<br />

Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and special<br />

representative of the UN Secretary­<br />

General for Sustainable Energy for All,<br />

and co-chair of UN-Energy, said it is vital<br />

that less devel<strong>op</strong>ed countries are not left<br />

behind when green investments are made.<br />

The UN Framework <strong>Co</strong>nvention on<br />

Climate Change acts as the primary<br />

international and intergovernmental<br />

forum for negotiating the global response<br />

to climate change. The UN General<br />

Assembly also focuses on fostering<br />

political consensus, raising awareness<br />

and giving strategic direction to the UN.<br />

► Reports on COP26: p24-27<br />

14 I DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

STIRTO<br />

New Economy Programme continues<br />

ION<br />

By Anca Voinea<br />

► Kate Whittle (t<strong>op</strong>)<br />

and Jo White<br />

Stir to Action is running more worksh<strong>op</strong>s via<br />

its New Economy Programme, a community<br />

business learning and action platform.<br />

Designed to provide capacity-building training<br />

for local communities, democratic businesses,<br />

third sector organisations, and activists, the<br />

programme is now in its fourth edition. This<br />

year, with support from the Power to Change,<br />

Stir to Action is offering 80 free training places<br />

- available to minoritised ethnic communities,<br />

young adults (aged between 18-35) and those<br />

living in areas of deprivation.<br />

Unlike previous editions, this year's<br />

programme is fully women-led; all training<br />

sessions will be run by practitioners in the field.<br />

The New Economy Programme started as an<br />

in-person training programme in 2016/2017 and<br />

ran a number of courses in London, Bristol and<br />

Oxford. A year later it expanded to Bradford and<br />

Newcastle. Once the pandemic, hit all worksh<strong>op</strong>s<br />

went online, which has helped to attract more<br />

participants from a wider geographical area,<br />

including some international attendees.<br />

"We aim to have some in person events<br />

in the future as well," says marketing and<br />

communications director, Abby Gordon­<br />

Farleigh.<br />

A total of 209 participants have registered<br />

for the 15 worksh<strong>op</strong>s so far but Stir to Action<br />

expects the figure to increase to 1,000 by the<br />

end of the programme in June 2022. Worksh<strong>op</strong>s<br />

will explore a range of issues, from sociocracy,<br />

community shares and how to start a worker co<strong>op</strong><br />

to conflict resolution, community ownership,<br />

democratising the high street and forming<br />

successful partnerships.<br />

One of the worksh<strong>op</strong>s will look at supporting<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>eration through HR and will be facilitated<br />

by Pe<strong>op</strong>le Support <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>, a women's sociocratic<br />

worker co-<strong>op</strong>.<br />

"In our experience co-<strong>op</strong>s don't have an HR<br />

function within the organisation," says Ms<br />

Gordon-Farleigh. The worksh<strong>op</strong> will aim to help<br />

co-<strong>op</strong> members and employees understand how<br />

to create an effective HR function that supports<br />

their members and builds a strong co-<strong>op</strong> culture.<br />

In another worksh<strong>op</strong> Jo White from <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative<br />

Futures will cover some of the key<br />

steps required to set up a worker co-<strong>op</strong>. Kate<br />

Whittle from <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erantics will also to explore<br />

constructive and practical approaches to dealing<br />

with conflict.<br />

Stir to Action has big plans for the future<br />

- it h<strong>op</strong>es to expand its training offer via its<br />

Democratic Training Centre in Devon and<br />

provide longer courses, building on the New<br />

Economy Programme.<br />

"We really do want to focus a lot of our<br />

strategy on training within the sector. Looking at<br />

how we can work together with local authorities<br />

and policy makers for everyone's benefit," said<br />

Ms Gordon-Farleigh.<br />

More details at stirtoaction.com<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong> I 35

about the movement as a whole. But I think it was<br />

only when I joined First Milk, having had a very<br />

commercial career, that I started to understand<br />

some of the differences. The importance of<br />

member engagement and taking members with<br />

you is very different from taking shareholders<br />

with you and is quite taxing and testing when it<br />

comes to communication."<br />

If a private firm has most of its shareholders in<br />

agreement over what they want from the board,<br />

for a co-<strong>op</strong> "your members have got a whole<br />

range of things of what they want from you,"<br />

she says. "Part of what I like about is that you<br />

can put value back to the members rather than<br />

putting value back to the shareholders."<br />

Ms Allum said she had been approached<br />

previously to stand for MND but she was busy<br />

elsewhere in a CEO role.<br />

"This is the first time when it hasn't been so<br />

logistically complicated. I couldn't honestly say<br />

to you that being on a board of a co-<strong>op</strong> was a<br />

lifelong ambition. But I've always had a great<br />

interest in the <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> for all the reasons that<br />

we've said ... it's great that this time when it came<br />

around, I actually could do something about it.<br />

"Looking at it from the inside out, you<br />

suddenly realise the scale of what the <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong><br />

is contributing. We need to find some more<br />

ways to share this because when I've spoken to<br />

pe<strong>op</strong>le, they've been surprised but also deeply<br />

impressed at what we do."<br />

But what is the difference between the work<br />

of an MND and a regular director? "We've all<br />

got a responsibility to the business to make the<br />

right decisions. From that point of view, I don't<br />

think there is a difference," she says. "But I do<br />

feel there is an additional responsibility with the<br />

MNDs to have that engagement."<br />

This includes sessions with the Members'<br />

<strong>Co</strong>uncil where we have explored different<br />

priorities for the business. Work with a smaller<br />

breakout group was useful, helping her "to see<br />

what council members, and therefore members,<br />

thought about the priorities for investment, and<br />

how they would move it forward.<br />

"I was impressed in those discussions in terms<br />

of the depth of thought. Some of those smaller<br />

group interactive sessions were extremely<br />

powerful - particularly when working remotely."<br />

The question now is how to continue that<br />

engagement as the country leaves lockdown,<br />

with more face to face meetings.<br />

"We can't please anybody but I think it<br />

really informs our decision making if we can<br />

understand why some members feel strongly<br />

about some things and why other pe<strong>op</strong>le feel<br />

strongly about other things," says Ms Allum.<br />

"While all the directors do engage with the<br />

members, and they all engage with the <strong>Co</strong>uncil,<br />

for a member nominated director, there is a<br />

responsibility to engage a little bit more than the<br />

other directors might and to feed that into the<br />

board discussions."<br />

Her time on the board has left Ms Allum proud<br />

of the Group. "In our village the <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> is part of<br />

the social centre. I am very proud of the fact that I<br />

am part of that, and part of all the initiatives that<br />

we've got going. We're constantly contributing<br />

and constantly looking at ways to do it better.<br />






"One of the most positive things about the<br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> is that it's multiple issues, multiple<br />

contributions. Some of those are big issues like<br />

social mobility, but again, in our little village,<br />

community causes have made a huge difference."<br />

These causes can be important to local<br />

identity, she says - including her village's<br />

pipe band, which is p<strong>op</strong>ular with tourists and<br />

promotes inclusion, with its members ranging in<br />

age from 10 to 70.<br />

To do this work, MNDs need the right skills,<br />

says Ms Allum. "We will benefit nobody if<br />

we're not a successful business, so from a<br />

board perspective, it is really important that we<br />

have the right skills to make sure we drive the<br />

business in the right direction. But it's really<br />

important that the board relationships work very<br />

effectively, so you've got a board that is actually<br />

talking, listening, engaging."<br />

The leadership style to get this right is<br />

different from that needed by a private company,<br />

she adds, because the structure is different. "It<br />

is important that we do engage and listen to the<br />

members. We need a good diverse board with<br />

different perspectives, looking at things through<br />

different lenses. And they must appreciate the<br />

fact that our colleagues are important. Our<br />

members are important. Our customers are<br />

important. Our suppliers are important."<br />

Applications are now <strong>op</strong>en for MND<br />

nominations, with two positions up for election.<br />

More details at co-<strong>op</strong>erative.co<strong>op</strong>/mndelection<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong> I 41

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

Christntas<br />

giftguide<br />

£10<br />

The <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> <strong>News</strong> <strong>2021</strong> Christmas Gift Guide is back with more gifts<br />

under £5 and £10, as well as our t<strong>op</strong> picks for subscription gifts,<br />

all from co-<strong>op</strong>s and ethical businesses.<br />

Vegetable sowing guide mug.<br />

£9.95 ethicalsh<strong>op</strong>.org<br />

<strong>Co</strong>conut thumb piano. £7.95<br />

ethicalsh<strong>op</strong>.org Willsow plan table children's books. £9.99<br />

willsow.com<br />

◄ Recycled notebook from<br />

Malawian women's co-<strong>op</strong><br />

Pamette. £9, reduced<br />

from£10.50<br />

cycleofgood.com<br />

► Chocolate espresso body<br />

butter bar. £7.95<br />

wearthlondon.com<br />




,:.t <br />

°"1,<br />

◄ Alter/Native soap, shampoo<br />

and conditioner bars from Suma<br />

<strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>erative £3.50-£4.95<br />

adamandeco.com<br />

► Tony's chocolonely christmas<br />

bars£3.98<br />

tonyschocolonely.com<br />

► Mulled wine and cider<br />

spice kit £3.70<br />

wearthlondon.com<br />

► Recycled brass chime<br />

christmas tree £4.99<br />

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

46 I DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

And for the gift that keeps on giving, check out the following subscriptions ....<br />

Boundary<br />

Boundary is a Belfast-based<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>erative brewery with over<br />

1,400 members. They offer a<br />

selection of beer subscriptions<br />

ranging from £35 to £40 per<br />

month. Members of the co-<strong>op</strong><br />

receive a discount, as well as<br />

being able to run and vote for<br />

Boundary's board of directors.<br />

boundarybrewing.co<strong>op</strong><br />

Ocfot<br />

Edinburgh micro chocolate factory Ocelot produces<br />

artisan chocolate bars in beautifully designed and fully<br />

compostable wrappers. They work with bean-to-bar<br />

suppliers who pay more than the minimum Fairtrade<br />

standard to farmers.<br />

Ocelot also make a<br />

bar called Femme,<br />

made from rare<br />

Amelonado cocoa<br />

beans grown by the<br />

world's first female<br />

cacao co-<strong>op</strong>erative.<br />

Ocelot's chocolate<br />

subscription is<br />

£22 per month.<br />

oce/otchocolate.com<br />

Spic Kitchn UK<br />

Spice Kitchen UK is an award-winning<br />

venture run by a mother and son team<br />

who offer a range of spice subscription<br />

services. Their Avid Adventurer<br />

subscription is £40 for three months'<br />

worth of spices from India, Africa and<br />

the Middle East, or around the world.<br />

spicekitchenuk.com<br />

zedbees<br />

Manchester-based Zed Bees is a family run business on a mission<br />

to deliver low waste, sustainable toiletries to customers. They aim<br />

to help more pe<strong>op</strong>le make the switch from plastic based products<br />

in a hassle free and affordable way through their online sh<strong>op</strong><br />

and subscription service. Their Eco-friendly bathroom essentials<br />

subscription is £10 per month and contains organic soaps,<br />

shampoo bars and toothpaste tablets.<br />

zedbees.com<br />

<strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>Nws<br />

And of course we couldn't forget to mention<br />

our very own magazine subscription!<br />

For £5 per month, you can gift a loved one<br />

a monthly c<strong>op</strong>y of our magazine so they<br />

can stay up to date on the co-<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

movement around the world.<br />


C:0 REVIEWS<br />

Snapshots from the 1980s and the<br />

idealism of its worker co-<strong>op</strong>s<br />

English Worker <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>e,-allve<br />

Movement 1980s<br />

English Worker<br />

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

Movement 1980s,<br />

(Cafe Royal Books,<br />

£6.50. Order on line<br />

from caferoyalbooks.<br />

com)<br />

Ah, the 1980s! The time when, even despite<br />

Thatcher, there still seemed plenty of h<strong>op</strong>e on<br />

the left and plenty of sc<strong>op</strong>e for building a new<br />

and better world.<br />

The upsurge of worker co-<strong>op</strong>eratives in<br />

the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s brought in a new<br />

generation of activists to the co-<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

movement, and the network of local co<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

devel<strong>op</strong>ment agencies (many, but not<br />

all, unfortunately relatively short-lived) offered<br />

a framework for that growth. The experience of<br />

those heady days has influenced many pe<strong>op</strong>le's<br />

subsequent political and personal lives.<br />

And now Martin Stott, himself one of those<br />

activists, has collected together a small booklet<br />

of photographs of the workers' co-<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

movement from that time.<br />

English Worker <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative Movement 1980s<br />

offers over 20 photos which will provide an<br />

instant nostalgia-fest for co-<strong>op</strong>erative babyboomers,<br />

and might well also fascinate the<br />

younger generation of co-<strong>op</strong>erators active today.<br />

(Those clothes! That hair!)<br />

Martin's selection includes photos of a very<br />

early Suma, of the editorial conference at The<br />

Leveller magazine, of the <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> Fair held at the<br />

Beechwood Centre in Leeds, of co-<strong>op</strong> printers<br />

Lithosphere, of East End <strong>News</strong>, and of several<br />

other worker-run businesses.<br />

This is important history, and fortunately<br />

(thanks to the recent Workers' <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> Archive<br />

Project, run by the National <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

Archive), key records, artefacts and oral<br />

testimonies from that time are now safely in the<br />

Archive in Manchester.<br />

If Martin Stott's booklet makes you long for<br />

more, the Flickr page linked to the <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> Heritage<br />

Trust offers an even bigger treasure-trove.<br />

..r<br />

.,,•• <br />

f<br />

48 I DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

The <strong>Co</strong>vid-19 crisis had led to the<br />

postponement of many co-<strong>op</strong>erative<br />

events. However, a number of<br />

co-<strong>op</strong>eratives and apex bodies<br />

are holding on line webinars and<br />

meetings.<br />

We listed some of these below.<br />

If you would like to add any<br />

postponements - or let us know<br />

of any virtual events taking place<br />

instead, please email<br />

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

Law<br />

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

(Hybrid event: on line and in-person)<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/316/AmX<br />

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

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

(Hybrid event: 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<br />

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

secure future. Using the current global<br />

crisis as a framework, discussions will<br />

aim to deepen the co<strong>op</strong>erative identity<br />

by examining its values, strengthening<br />

its actions, committing to its principles<br />

and living its achievements. This hybrid<br />

event will be held in person in Seoul, the<br />

Republic of Korea and online.<br />

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

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong> <strong>Co</strong>nnections: Rose Marley<br />

8 <strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong>, 3.30-4.30pm<br />

(Online event)<br />

Organised by <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>eratives UK, <strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong><br />

<strong>Co</strong>nnections is a series of events that<br />

enables co-<strong>op</strong>s to connect, learn and<br />

discuss t<strong>op</strong>ical themes. In this session,<br />

<strong>Co</strong>-<strong>op</strong>eratives UK CEO Rose Marley will<br />

share her observations after speaking to<br />

a myriad of societies and co-<strong>op</strong>s at her<br />

monthly surgery sessions, meetings and<br />

visits - and will explore key challenges<br />

and share her vision for co-<strong>op</strong>eratives in<br />

2022.<br />

C-:::> bit.ly/3E00iyl<br />

Selgars Mill Open Day<br />

10 <strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

(In-person event)<br />

Stir to Action are <strong>op</strong>ening an eco venue<br />

and training centre for the democratic<br />

economy, the climate emergency, and<br />

social change in Mid Devon. The new<br />

venue will be supporting communities<br />

to create new responses to a range of<br />

creative, cultural and environmental<br />

issues as well as offering a special space<br />

to connect, rest and recharge.<br />

c-:::> bit.ly/3FQvNM4<br />

Decent Work and Democracy<br />

20-21 May 2022<br />

(In-person, Wortley Hall, Nr. Sheffield)<br />

A conference on union co-<strong>op</strong>s, with<br />

discussions on: What can union activists<br />

do to fight for decent work and democracy?<br />

How can workers get control over our daily<br />

working lives? What can we do to promote<br />

democracy in the workplace? Do we have<br />

to accept the gig economy and precarity?<br />

And more.<br />

C-:::> unionco<strong>op</strong>suk@gmail.com<br />

ICA General Assembly 2022<br />

20 June 2022<br />

Seville, Spain<br />

The event will be hosted by the Spanish<br />

<strong>Co</strong>nfederation of Worker <strong>Co</strong><strong>op</strong>eratives<br />

(COCETA) and include the election of the<br />

ICA Presidency and Board of Directors .<br />

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

50 I DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!