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A Co-operative?

So why did we choose to become a Co-operative?

Any new organisation needs to think about the type of business model to adopt - in our case, we knew that we wanted to form some type of social enterprise - a business with social aims at its centre, rather than private profit. The Co-operative ideals really tie in with our project - here's a brief section from Co-operatives UK website which explains it:

"Co-operatives are businesses owned and run by and for their members, whether they are customers, employees or residents. As well as giving members an equal say and share of the profits, co-operatives act together to build a better world through co-operation.

There are over 5,450 independent co-operatives in the UK. From football to fashion, health care to housing, community owned shops to credit unions, and wind farms to web design; co-operatives work in all parts of the economy.

Co-operatives are not just supermarkets and funeral services - although these are amongst the most successful co-operatives found on the high street. You probably use co-operatives in your daily life that you aren't even aware of.

Across the UK, co-operatives are owned by nearly 13 million people - and these numbers keep on growing."

Co-operatives UK

So we knew that a Co-operative was on the cards - but which type?

We were lucky enough to receive 4 days of support with Austen Cordasco from the Co-operative Assistance Network. Austen helped us to look at the various models available within the Co-operative set up and we opted for a multi-stakeholder system - very appropriate for the multi-stranded project we are undertaking. It means that we have different types of membership for different users - but all with full membership rights under the Co-operative ethos.

"It was a pleasure to work with the steering group of Local Food (& More!) Co-operative - our organisation helped David, Harri, Katy & Sally think about the choices available to them in terms of a Co-operative model (there a quite a few options!) and I think that the 'Multi-stakeholder' type was very appropriate for this project. I've also run a finances workshop for the group, helping them to work out financial projections for the next three years. I wish the Co-operative all best wishes for the future - it's been a pleasure to offer support."

Austen Cordasco