Co-operatives plan to raise profile

Co-operatives UK is planning a major sector-wide campaign called Co-operatives Fortnight to spread the message about the co-operative alternative across the UK.

Co-operatives Fortnight

The initiative takes place from 19 June to 3 July and takes the theme “There is an alternative”. There will be a dedicated website dedicated accompanying activity.

It will be the first time since the co-operative business model was developed in over 165 years ago that the entire movement has celebrated the role of co-operatives nationwide. Co-operatives UK, the trade association for co-operatives, is calling for co-operatives up and down the country to get involved.

The body says that with a turnover of some £29 billion and 11m members, co-operatives are the largest membership movement in the country and now want their voice for a more ethical economy heard.

Ed Mayo, secretary general of Co-Op UK, says:”Co-operatives Fortnight is a celebration of an alternative economy and a chance for everyone to buy co-operatively, bank co-operatively, invest co-operatively and work co-operatively.

“Co-operatives Fortnight is going to do for co-operation what Fairtrade Fortnight has done for third world coffee, bananas and chocolate.”

And as the UK is now technically out of recession, the time really has come for a new agenda of co-operation, with Co-operatives UK already highlighting the co-operative alternative across many sectors of society – from pubs to football clubs, healthcare to agriculture, credit unions to community owned shops.

There will be a communications campaign driven by PR that aims to take in print, broadcast, digital and social media on a national and regional level. Activity is being co-ordinated by the R consultancy and Ethos PR.

The fortnight also includes International Co-operatives Day on 3 July 2010 and the UK’s biggest gathering of co-operatives – Co-operatives 2010 in June.

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