Co-operatives UK works to promote, develop and unite member-owned business including co-operatives and Community Benefit Societies.
There are more than 7000 co-operative businesses in UK worth almost £40 billion to the economy. TECC is one of these enterprises and is proud to be connected with Co-operatives UK as the co-ordinating organisation for the sector. Almost 14 million people own these co-operatives and benefit from their success.
Co-operatives UK's mission is to grow the co-operative economy and work to promote, develop and unite co-operatives across all sectors, from major high street retailers and large agricultural businesses to community owned pubs and credit unions.
Co-operatives are driven by values and not just profit. The owner-members can direct how the business develops and where profits are used to develop the enterprise.
For over 150 years co-operatives have been giving people across the UK control over things that matter to them – in their communities and workplaces, over the businesses they use, and across the wider economy. The co-operative movement emerged in 1844 when 28 workers in the north of England called time on the expensive and poor quality food the mill owner sold them. They clubbed together to buy basic foods (flour, butter and sugar) in bulk and opened a small shop. Fellow workers could buy these provisions and also join as customer members to become part owners of the co-op and share in any profits.
The Co-operative model remains an important commercial mechanism to this day with almost a quarter of a million employees in the sector. Survival rates for new co-ops is significantly better than for private companies at 72% after five years versus 43% for companies.
In Scotland there are over 570 co-ops with more than a million members responsible for £2.6bn turnover last year.