Co-op movement arrives in Manchester for global conference

Article published: Tuesday, October 30th 2012

Members of co-operatives from around the world are arriving in Manchester for a global conference celebrating the mutualist movement – over 150 years after the first co-op was founded by the Rochdale Pioneers in 1844.

The conference is the culminating event of the International Year of Co-operatives

The Co-operatives United Festival is expected to attract hundreds of delegates, with umbrella federation the International Co-operative Alliance hoping to use the event to showcase plans to increase the clout of the diverse sector over the next decade.

Manchester-based groups such as Chorlton’s Unicorn Grocery and the fan owned football club FC United will be present, alongside larger enterprises such as the Co-operative Group and the French credit union federation Desjardins.

Organisers are keen to stress the growing number of worker and consumer-owned enterprises across both rich and poor countries, with delegates hearing about co-operatives in Iran, Russia, Indonesia, Palestine, Brazil and China.

The event lasts from Wednesday 31 October to Friday 2 November and is based at Manchester Central Convention Complex. Access to the main events are restricted to delegates.

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