Principle six – Cooperation Amongst Cooperatives – is an important driving force for Coop Italy and the Consumer Cooperative Union (CCU) in Bulgaria. The two organisations have been business partners for years and continued to maintain a close relationship during the COVID-19 outbreak, placing solidarity at the heart of what they do.
In March, when Italy was among the worst hit countries in Europe, Coop Italy delivered disinfectants, cleaning detergents and essential Coop-branded goods to CCU in Bulgaria to be sold in their local stores, and helped to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Bulgaria.
The CCU has 153,000 individual cooperative members, 815 consumer cooperative societies and 34 regional cooperative unions. Local cooperatives were able to place orders online for Coop Italy and other items through the CCU Platform COOP Care. This platform contains information that also provides daily regional and community COVID-19 situation updates on infection rates, hospitalisations and quarantined persons.
To further tackle the spread of COVID-19, CCU led a national campaign to urge the wider community to follow the national recommendations for social distancing, personal hygiene, individual behaviour prioritising the collective well-being and safety of the community.
In addition to this awareness campaign, CCU also continued its fundraising efforts under the "COOP = COOP” programme, an initiative designed to raise funding to distribute products to disadvantaged people across the country.