The International year of co-operatives was launched on January 10th in Wales at an event in the Assembly organised by the Wales Co-operative Centre.
Speakers included the Business Minister, Edwina Hart AM, The Chair of the Assembly’s Cross Party Group on Co-operatives and Mutuals, Vaughan Gething AM, Pauline Green, World President of the International Co-operative Alliance, Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK and Derek Walker, Chief Executive of Wales Co-operative Centre.
The latest research paper from the Wales Co-operative Centre in this, its 30th year, was launched by Victoria Winkler, Director of the Bevan Foundation who had prepared the report.
Derek Walker, Chief Executive of Wales Co-operative Centre, said: “In 2012, the UN International Year of Co-operatives, this report highlights the significant contribution Wales’ co-operatives make to the Welsh economy, society and environment.
“Worker co-operatives have far lower levels of staff turnover and absenteeism when compared with the average. They are also more likely to involve women and minority ethnic groups than private businesses. When you look at this evidence, It’s clear that co-operatives could play a big role in making Wales a more prosperous, fair and sustainable place to live.”
“Wales already has some superb co-operative businesses which show what can be done. We have been hit hard by the recession and constraints on public spending and services, coupled with welfare reform, will put further pressure on Welsh individuals, families and communities and the services they rely on. Co-operatives offer a solution to these problems and the case for increasing our efforts to support co-operatives is overwhelming.”