Peter Couchman is the Chief Executive of the Plunkett Foundation.

The Plunkett Foundation is the organisation which promotes and supports co-operative and social enterprises in rural communities both in the UK and internationally. It provides support, networks and knowledge which offers practical solutions for rural communities that helps to create thriving places where people live and work now and in the future.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Time to celebrate

The Plunkett Foundation will be putting all its enthusiasm (and that's a lot) into Britain's first Co-operatives Fortnight in June. There are several reasons for this.

Firstly, it is long overdue. America has a great month long celebration and Canada has as Co-op Week. But Britain has done little to celebrate the impact of co-operation apart from a few International Co-operative Day celebrations (including some fetes, galas and bunfights which showed very little that was international and even less that was co-operative).

Secondly, there couldn't be a better time to go on the front foot to show that there is an alternative. We, along with many other co-operative organisations, are seeing a surge of interest in co-operative solutions.

Finally, Plunkett is keen to participate to make the point that some of the most dynamic new co-operatives are coming from rural communities and it is time that the Co-operative Movement recognised them.

Many years ago, I remember a worldly wise co-operative manager lamenting that the problem that co-operatives had was that they were always one step away from being fashionable. In June this year, we'll be helping to tale that step.

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