Report of the Inter-Coop Committee (1995/96)

    This document has been made available in electronic format
         by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA 
                         October, 1996

     (Source: Review of International Co-operation,
     Vol.89, No.3/1996 (Annual Report 1995/96), p.67-69)

                         Report of the
                     Inter-Coop Committee

Executive Committee

Chairman:           Steinar Sivertsen (Norway)

Vice-Chairmen:      John B. Owen (UK); Vincenzo Tassinari

Executive Officer:  Ole Dueholm

Members:            Silvester Adamca (Slovakia); Lars Hillbom
(Sweden); Laszio Muranyi (Hungary); Aarno
Mantynen (Finland); Akira Uchitate
(Japan); Mordechai Weisbroad (Israel).

Inter-Coop is an association of co-operative federal
organisations in East and West Europe, Israel and Japan. As of
August 1996, 12 co-op central organisations from 11 countries
are members of Inter-Coop.

Together with their 2,200 affiliated co-operative retail
societies, the retail organisations of Inter-Coop members make
up an economic force as a trading group which exerts a
significant influence on national and international markets.
In 1995, members of Inter-Coop recorded retail sales exceeding
56 billion ECU in more than 22,000 retail outlets.

Exchange of Know-how and Information
The aim of Inter-Coop is to promote the exchange of know-how
and information between its member organisations, especially
on subjects related to retail trade.

The exchange of know-how and information takes place in a
number of working groups, of which some are permanent, while
others are set up on an ad hoc basis to deal with specific
issues. In addition, Inter-Coop co-ordinates an education
programme for senior managers from member organisations and
issues two information letters `Inter-Coop Information' and
`Inter-Coop Newsletter'.

Permanent Working Groups
Two permanent working groups are directly retail-related, viz.
the Discount Stores Group and the Co-op Retailers' Group, the
latter dealing with issues in store types other than discount
stores, i.e. supermarkets, superstores, and hypermarkets. The
Co-op Retailers' Group is a new group formed in 1996 on the
basis of two former working groups for `supermarkets' and
`hypermarkets and superstores'.

Another permanent working group for Logistics is made up of
logistics managers from a number of Inter-Coop member
organisations. Following the issue of a comprehensive document
`Goods Movement in Supply Chain Management', which describes
an ideal model for goods movement, the Group is now exchanging
know-how and considering collaboration possibilities with
regard to computer-assisted ordering systems.

A permanent working group for `Green Issues & Ethics' was
established in 1996 at the initiative of the Inter-Coop Board
to facilitate discussions among member organisations on the
way in which retailers may and do respond to consumer
behaviour related to environment protection and ethical

The working group `Food Laboratories' no longer functions
within the framework of Inter-Coop as such, but the Inter-Coop
Secretariat continues to provide administrative support for
what is now a voluntary network for laboratory and quality
assurance managers.

Ad-Hoc Working Groups
Ad hoc working groups are established from time to time to
deal with topics, which are not related to a specific store
type. Thus, in 1994 an ad hoc meeting treated `Environment
Protection Efforts' on the part of Inter-Coop members. This
meeting resulted in the establishment of the permanent working
group for green issues and ethics mentioned above.
In 1995, a working group discussed `Security Issues' with
particular emphasis on electronic alarm systems. This meeting
resulted in a requirement specification for alarm systems and
tags, which Inter-Coop has submitted to the European
authorities with the suggestion that alarm system requirements
should be harmonised in the interest of both retailers and

Strategic Issues in Co-op Retailing is the title of the
Inter-Coop education programme for senior managers. It is a
series of seminars and cases in three modules and three
different countries, which takes delegates through a number of
cases and disciplines relating to retailing, logistics,
strategic planning and marketing.

Inter-Coop Structure
1995 was the first full year of Inter-Coop operations under
its new structure, i.e. formally independent of N.A.F.
international and Intergroup, which are responsible for the
international co-ordination of food and non-food purchases

The practical collaboration, i.e. the sharing of office space
and facilities with the two organisations mentioned continues
to function well.