News from the Other Regions (1996)


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This document has been made available in electronic format by 
the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
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December, 1996
(Source: Asia-Pacific Co-op News, Vol.3, No.1
Sept-Dec.,1996, p.17-20)

News from the Other Regions
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Finland
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Changes in the Finnish Co-operative Development Centre
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The Chairperson of the Board of Finnish Co-operative Centre (FCC) informs 
that Marketta Lindberg has been appointed as acting Managing Director of FG 
in the absence of Mr. Harry Porvalli.

Before joining FCC Marketta has worked in Kenya and in Finland.

Italy
*****
Mr. Gain Luca Ceriina Feroni new President of National
Association of Consumer Co-operatives - Italy
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Following the appointment of Mr. Ivano Barberini as the President of the 
National League of Italian Co-operatives on July, 17 1996 The National 
Association of Consumer Co-operatives has appointed Mr. Gian Luca Cerrina 
Feroni as its
new President.

Mr. Cerrina Feroni, who was born in Rome in 1939 has worked
within the co-operative movement since 1987 where he has been the president of 
the Tuscany Regional League while from 1976 to 1987 he has been the Member of Parliament.


U. K.
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Shopping thru' Automation 
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The co-operator bank UK is testing a system of expanding
financial business to daily consumer needs. Over next 4 years it will be 
possible to obtain theatre and sports tickets from bank. Bus train and airline 
tickets are also on the way. It is reported that with these extra formation number 
of cash dispenses will reach 50% of the total number installed.

South Africa already has machines installed in Johannesburg.

-Co-operative News; Sept 16, 1996

Co-op Support to Bomb Victims
-----------------------------

The Co-operative Wholesale Society (WS) and Co-operative Retail Society (CRS) of UK 
has pledged financial support to the IRA bomb victims at Manchester in June. The bomb 
blasted the city centre which is close to a co-operative bank and co-op owned Maxell house.

Co-op Campaign to Stop Child-Sex Tourism 
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Co-op Travel Care is the first UK Travel agency to support a
National campaign to prosecute who travel abroad to sexually
exploit children. The co-op has joined the coalition on child
prostitution and tourism which represents seven major charities in UK. 


Britain's oldest one shop Co-op
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Britain's oldest Independent one shop co-operative celebrates its 140th birthday 
this month. 

The shop stand on the corner of Moor Lane, a plain building with large windows s
urrounded by an old wall that keels towards the pavement. Inside the shop looks 
like any other village shops with rows of products neatly stacked.

But upstairs  the ingenuity of the 140 year old design strikes the visitor 
immediately. The upper floor is like the inside of an old methodist church with 
peaked ceiling supported by beams. 

Carved in one of the beams in Roman numerals is the building's birth date, 1876.

At the age of 16 Mr. David Crowther went to work for the local village shop and 
this month celebrates the 20th anniversary at the Highburton Co-op. 

He had always wanted to work in retail and studied at college or the first two 
years of his employment, gaining his professional qualifications in retail and 
trading.

Looking back he recalls how the shop and indeed the Co-op has
changed "when  first started the shop had a separate drapery
department though it had gone self-service by then.

Before that the customer used to come into the shop and wait on a bench. 
Everything was weighed out in bags and packed personally.

This personal touch is what separates Highburton Co-op from the larger 
supermarkets says Mr. Crowther. he accepts they cannot match the bigger stores 
in variety, but they are far superior in providing customers with the personal touch.

We have a lot of good customers. some spending near to pound 100 per week. 
They like the personal touch, the personal service.

At one time there were thousands of one-shop societies, but they have been 
bought out or taken over, a lot of co-operatives just did not move with 
the times.

The personal service found at Highburton echoes the co-operative spirit of the 
original small village societies. Mr. Crowther regularly travels out to 
Highburton and neighbouring Kirkburton to deliver to people who are housebound.

I might get there and they need some curtains hanging or light bulb changing 
and I help them out. How may supermarkets would do that?

Today Highburton is operated by a voluntary committee of five
plus Mr. Crowther and  another five part-time members of the
staff.

The founding aims of the Co-op still remains the same- to provide a fair range 
of goods at reasonable prices. However, in 1856 members were paid dividends but 
now all profits are absorbed back into the business.

The shop still buys most if its produce form local traders and the West Riding 
Co-operative Association in Bradford, part of the Yorkshire Co-op.

From the beginning of one bag of flour and a slab of lard to 140 years of service. 
Highburton Co-op should no doubt continue to serve the small local community in 
West Yorkshire.


A new Act for Co-operatives in UK urged
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The Co-operative Party Annual Conference urged for a new
legislation for co-operatives in U.K.  A draft proposal by a
working group will be the base for the legislation.  This Act has been 
designed to provide an effective operational  framework for existing 
co-operatives and the development of new co-operatives.  The conference 
urged that the Act should provide for the redistribution of power and 
wealth, the promotion of openness, democratic accountability and 
development of effective demand for locally generated goods.  The act 
also should give tax incentives to business to seek and maintain 
co-operative status.

-Co-operative News; April 16, 1996

Follow-up Seminar on ICA Youth Seminar
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The youth participants from U.K. who participated at the ICA
Youth Seminar during the Congress in 1995 initiated a young co-operators 
network and had its first meeting in March 1996. This was on the basis of 
a resolution of the ICA Seminar as to establish an International Young 
Co-operators Network.  The seminar held in the Co-operative College 
Loughborough initiated the writing and distribution of the first young  
co-operators network newsletter, planning workshops to promote the network 
idea, and planning further network meetings in U.K.  The newsletter can be 
obtained from the following address:

Young Co-operators Network
C/o The Co-operative College
Stanford Hall
Loughborough, Leicestershire LE 125QR  U.K.

-Co-operative News-2 April 1996


Non-Food Merger of CWS & CRS
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After the suspended experiment of total merger in 1995, Co-
operative Wholesale Society and Co-operative Retail Society of U.K. have 
jointly announced a merger of non-food operation of two giant co-operatives. 

The aim of the merger is to create a structure for co-op non-food activities 
that many co-operative societies could join over a period of time.  It is 
aspired that a strong non-food trading profile could be developed by merging 
under one management structure, the resource and expertise of a number of 
societies.  Group buying techniques that would be adopted would result in 
strong bargaining power and cost reduction.

- Co-operative News - Apr. 16, 96


Housewives Takeover Rural Co-op
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The smallest rural co-operative in Britain has been hit by a boardroom takeover coup.

Out of the 10 board members on the committee of the Grosmnt
village shop seven have resigned. A new group, including several housewives, 
has now taken control.

The flurry  of resignations occurred after villagers raised a
petition criticising the way the shop was being run. A spokesman for the 
Grosmont Co-op explained.

The Co-op is run on the basis where everyone in the village has a share. 
No one person has control over who is appointed.

People in the village voted they are all shareholders and they voted for 
a change.

The Whitby based shop has been serving the rural community for the last 
115 years.
    

New CWS Chief Issues Millennium Challenge
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Graham Melmoth took over as the new chief executive of CWS this week, pledging 
himself to blend co-operative values with sound commercial practice. Fifty-eight 
year old Mr. Melmoth, CWS Secretary for 20 years, succeeds David Skinner, who 
has retired after four years in the post.

As he took over as head of the pound 3 billion a year turnover society, Mr. 
Melmoth declared his belief that true mutual organisations have an opportunity 
to make their values count in the market place.

Co-operative are of the same family based on principles of self help and 
collective strength Co-operation has effectively demonstrated its ability 
constantly to renew itself in the twentieth century and adapt to new 
circumstances and that is a challenge for CWS as it charts a course for 
the millennium.

Mr. Melmoth said politicians and pundits seemed to be falling
over themselves to lay special claim to the values on which the Co-operative 
Movement built one of the Britain's biggest businesses - the ethics of honesty, 
openness, social responsibility and 
caring for others.

"The really tough track for us to take in the new century is that of living 
up to those values whilst at the same time materially improving the bottom line. 
But it certainly a prospect worth working for and in tune with the nation's 
search for a settled future".

Mr. Melmoth spent the earlier part of his career with public
companies such as BOC. Fiscons and Letraset. He joined CWS in
1975 and became secretary a year later. He continues to bridge 
economic sectors as Chairman of Ringway Development plc. a joint 
venture between the 10 local authorities which own Manchester 
Airport and several public companies.

Elected president of the International Co-operative Alliance in its 
centenary year, he recently announced a new international fund to 
channel the ICA's development resources into co-operatives in the Third 
World and in former communist states.

Married with two grown up sons he lives at Macclesfield. Cheshire with 
his wife, Jenny and takes a keen interest in co-operative history and 
ideas, as well as opera and the theatre.

His predecessor, David Skinner has been at the help of CWS during four 
years of immense change which have been seen the Movement's central 
federal reshape itself into the biggest co-operative retailer.

He followed Sir Dennis Landau as chief executive in 1992, just as CWS 
faced one of its most difficult tasks in  rescuing the floundering 
Greater Nottingham Society.

The rescue plunged CWS into a period of heavy borrowings which rose to 
more than Pound 400 million at one stage. But when he addressed the CWS 
half-yearly meeting recently, Mr. Skinner was able to report that the 
figure was now down to Pound 159 million.

The restoration of CWS stability resulted from astute
cost-trimming and strategic disposals, including the
controversial sale of the society's food manufacturing
operations.

Educated at Gateshead Grammar School and Nottingham University. Mr. Skinner 
began his working life as a management trainee with Yorkshire Imperial Metals.

He later worked for Destillers Company as a productivity services manager 
and as a management consultant before joining Scottish CWS in 1968.

In 1974, he became CWS non-food controller, then retail
controller in 1983. He as a deputy chief executive under Sir
Dennis from 1986 until taking over as chief executive.


U. S. A.
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ACDI Expands its Projects in Asia
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The 1995 Annual Report of the Agricultural Co-operative
Development International (ACDI) an NGO for co-operatives
provides information on its expanded operation in Asia and the 
Pacific. It has also revealed that AGAI is increasingly working 
in partnership with World Bank, JICA, ADB and Super American 
Development Bank.

Among the projects in the Region, the most prominent ones are: 
South Pacific Commercial Agricultural Development Project, The 
Co-operative Development Project for West Bank and Gaza Strip, 
Fisheries Advocacy Project for Sustainable Sequation Reform in 
Philippines, and Commercial Small Farm Development Project in Sri Lanka.

ACDI/VOCA Merger
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Two international development organisations founded by
agricultural co-operatives in USA - Agricultural Co-operative
Development International (ACDI) and Volunteers in Overseas Co-operative 
Assistance (VOCA) - have decided to merge into one organisation called ACDI/VOCA. 

Mike Deegan has been selected to function as the President and the Chief 
Executive of the new organisation.

ACDI and VOCA have nearly 60 years of experience in assisting
developing countries.


WOCCU
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International Credit Union Forum
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World Council of Credit Union (WOCCU) inform that WOCCU will
organise and International Credit Union Forum in Vancouver -
Canada from June 29 to July 3, 1997 on the occasion its
celebration of 25 years of service of credit unions. The
discussion session would include: 21st Century Leadership Skills, 
Global benefits of the Credit Union Network, Women and Credit Union, 
Philosophy as a Strategic differences and Marketing products etc.
     
WOCCU invites international participation on self financing
basis. The registration fee is ranging from US$ 445 to 670
depending on the nature of participation. Those who are
interested contact:

1997 Forum Registration
World Council of Credit Union
P.O. Box 2982
Madison  53701-2982
USA
Fax : 608-238-8020


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Electronic Conference on Co-operative Principles
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Interested readers can  access the proceedings
of a recent on line conference on Internet on
New Co-operative Principles
through the ICA web pages
(http://www co-op.org)
The conference was participated by 70 
participants from Canada, US, UK,Australia, 
Switzerland and Sweden which was hosted by
the Canadian Co-operative Association.

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