Published: 1st Feb 2012

Co-operatives in the UK have struggled to reach the scale seen in other countries. In a changing world, can co-ops become a powerful and creative economic force again, asks Clare Goff This year is the International Year of Co-operatives and, to celebrate, a new movie is being filmed telling the story of the birth of the Co-operatives in Rochdale, England. The Rochdale Pioneers – its working title – will recount the lives of the 28 founders of the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society in 1844, an event recognized as the movement’s birth. But 168 years on, as the original pioneers get set to hit the big screen, how are co-operatives in the UK faring? According to Co-operatives UK, there are 5,450 independent co-ops in the UK and almost 13 million co-operative members, which between them drive an annual turnover of £33bn, a mere 2% of GDP.  The vast majority of co-op … (To read the full article, subscribe below)