BBC highlights cooperative contributions to rebuilding economies post Covid-19

23 Jun 2021

An article on the BBC website explored the role of cooperatives in rebuilding the UK’s economy post pandemic.

The story focuses on the Wye Valley Producers cooperative in the Welsh town of Chepstow, which was set up by 25 local food producers affected by the pandemic. By pooling resources they were able to launch a joint website, as well as share skills and knowledge.

ICA director of legislation Santosh Kumar is also quoted in the story. He tells the BBC that other groups around the world have been coming together to form cooperatives in response to COVID-19.

"Online meetings and webinars were organised by cooperatives across the world. The international exchange of practices and resources has been widespread," he said. Also mentioned are cooperative shop October Books in Southampton, women-led cooperative Brlog Brewery in Croatia and the Self-Employed Women's Association (Sewa) in India.

As the national apex for the sector, Co-operatives UK has been helping its members adapt to the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Chief Executive Rose Marley told the BBC that early indications of the 2021 Co-operative Economy Report showed new cooperatives are still being formed and fewer have closed than in previous years. "[And] we know that before the pandemic, new start coops were nearly twice more likely to survive their first five years than other types of businesses," she said.

The full report is available on the BBC’s website.

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