The Case for the Co-op

First principles…

In fact, the co-operative movement has a long, proud and global history of doing exactly that. Dating from 1844, and updated in 1966 by the International Co-operative Alliance, the ‘Rochdale principles’ set out the ideals for operating a co-operative enterprise.

Concrete examples…

One of the common arguments made against co-operatives is that they are difficult to scale up, particularly in the face of cut-throat competition from shareholder- owned firms. Certainly, achieving scale is not without its challenges. But, an example from the Basque country is instructive. With nearly 12bn in annual sales, more than 80,000 employees and operating through 266 federated entities and 15 R&D centres, Mondragon Corporation is the most famous example of a successful transnational co-operative.

Policy programme…

Irish policymakers have for too long fawned over foot-loose foreign capital, to the exclusion of indigenous entrepreneurs and social movements. We need to do more to value and support our social entrepreneurs, including those in the co-operative movement who prove every day that other economic and business models are possible.

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Liberty (@SIPTU)

Liberty (@SIPTU)

Ireland’s Strongest Union. #ourSIPTU