Welcome, join us, co-ops are open for all

By Anthony Murray

“We do not leave anybody behind.” If there’s a slogan that encompasses the values that co-operatives adhere to, then that could be a contender.

All seven co-op principles revolve around the need to be inclusive and to serve the members of our co-operative community.

So it’s no surprise that ‘inclusion’ was this year’s theme for the International Day of Co-operatives. “It is good to remember that solutions for inequality exist,” says the International Co-operative Alliance.

Co-operatives are not just open for business they are an open business. A business that is open for being democratically-controlled and transparent in its dealings. “Open membership affords access to wealth creation and poverty elimination,” says the Alliance.

For the International Day (1st July), the Alliance called on co-operatives to reflect on the misery caused by rising inequality, to recommit to ensuring equality across their communities, and to celebrate the co-operative contribution to making the world a better place.

In the July edition, we feature some of those co-ops that leave no one behind, such as the support of small producers by East of England Co-op, how the Wales Co-operative Centre promotes inclusion through housing, the ex-prisoners co-op that helps people back on their feet and what Singapore’s healthcare system is doing to support an ageing population.

-Cooperative News, ICA

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