Co operatives UK, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary, is a network of cooperative businesses from agricultural and retail cooperatives to social care providers and sports clubs. It has 804 direct members, with a further 3,500 cooperatives represented through federal membership, including the Association of British Credit Unions and the Unified Football Supporters’ Organisation.
It works to promote, develop and unite member-owned business worth £38.2 billion to the economy. It campaigns on vital issues for its members, raises awareness of cooperative businesses and helps creates a level playing field for the start-up and growth of cooperatives.
In the face of the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, Co-operatives UK has been:
• Providing governance support to members on how to hold annual general meetings (AGM)during lockdown,
• Advocating for them with government for business support measures,
• Advising on HR and insolvency matters,
• Developing digital advisory services, and
• Supporting customers and communities in distribution of food and other necessities.
Co-operatives UK held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 19 June 2020 digitally. This was the first time that they held an AGM online.
During this meeting a special award was announced for the Cooperatives Unit of the ILO on the occasion of its centenary and in recognition of its contributions to cooperative development around the world.
The full text of the announcement by the outgoing President of Co-operatives UK Nick Matthews can be found here and his recorded statement here.