A new marketing campaign trumpeting the merits of mutual ownership is being launched today by The Co-operative Group.
The employee-owned company, which runs food, farming, housing, funeral-care, travel and pharmacy services, will ask its customers to get involved in their own co-operative type businesses.
Adverts from today published through TV, press and social media highlight the many different ways people can join its revolution, like community-owned wind-turbines to fan-owned football clubs, from urban beekeeping to young filmmaker co-operatives.
Peter Marks, Co-op’s CEO, said: “Until the 1980s people understood the benefits of mutual ownership, but then the UK’s family silver was sold-off cheaply in a wave of demutualisation that weakened the influence that ordinary consumers could have on our economy.
“We are beginning to see momentum again at grassroots level, where the Co-operative Enterprise Hub is helping new co-operative businesses set up at a rate of more than one a day, but the opportunity is much bigger than that.”
This latest campaign from Co-op follows its announcement of its new corporate social responsibility scheme last month, which laid out plans to increase its membership threefold whilst supporting communities, easing world poverty and helping the environment.
Fourth quarter results for the grocery arm of the group were disappointing and a major advertising campaign had already been launched at the start of the year promoting the appeal of convenience rather than superstore shopping.
Aired for the first time on TV this evening, a new advert will tell the story of the Rochdale Pioneers, creators of the first retail co-operative in 1844.
Marks added: “Co-operatives alone are not a panacea, but sitting alongside other business and service models, they can help address the unprecedented social, economic and environmental challenges facing the country.”