Posted: 13 May 2010, in Press Release

Scottish businesses are being urged to support the first ever Co-operatives Fortnight this summer by trading with a co-operative and experiencing at first hand the productivity and financial benefits of collaboration.

Co-operatives Fortnight, which is being organised by Co-operatives UK from 19th June – 3rd July, will promote co-operative business models with the theme – There is an Alternative – and a website –

It is being widely supported in Scotland by Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), which will be promoting the principal business models available, in particular employee ownership and consortia.  CDS will also be highlighting the fact that employee-owned and co-operative businesses are often more productive and profitable than the more common external shareholder-based business models.

Sarah Deas, Chief Executive of CDS said: “Co-operative business models are increasingly in the spotlight and being advocated by business organisations, political parties and international organisations such as the UN.   There is a growing interest in co-operative business models, and the productivity and community benefits they provide.  We are delighted that this dedicated Fortnight has been launched, and we will be supporting the campaign across Scotland.”

Co-operatives Fortnight will be the first time since the co-operative business model was developed in Fenwick nearly 250 years ago that the role of co-operatives in their widest sense have been celebrated nationwide.  With a turnover of some £29 billion and eleven million members, co-operatives are a major part of the UK economy.

Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK said: “Co-operatives Fortnight is a celebration of collaboration and a chance for everyone to buy co-operatively, bank co-operatively, invest co-operatively and work co-operatively.”  He added: “Don’t get angry about bankers and business scams, get organised. There are more co-operatives across the economy and more co-operative services than ever before.  Co-operatives Fortnight is going to do for co-operation what Fairtrade Fortnight has done for third world coffee, bananas and chocolate”.

As part of the fortnight, Co-operatives UK will co-ordinate some major activities, and produce a series of national reports, announcements and thought pieces to outline key trends, while co-operative businesses across the UK will be holding events.

The fortnight includes International Co-operatives Day on 3 July 2010 and the UK’s biggest and most influential gathering of co-operatives – Co-operatives 2010 (25-27 June) – in Plymouth.