The Co-operative Opportunity

   This document has been made available in electronic format
           by the International Co-operative Alliance.

Book Review

              The Co-operative Opportunity
   Published by United Kingdom Co-operative Council
            ISBN - 0 85195 216 X 120 pages.

       "An idea whose time has come again" - new book 
   takes fresh look at the co-operative way of business.

Co-operative businesses in the UK have a turnover in excess of
stlg10 billion and range from giant retailing, banking and
insurance organisations to farming, healthcare and craft
co-operatives that collectively employ more than 140,000 people.

Worldwide there are more than 200 organisations belonging to the
International Co-operative Alliance with an estimated membership
of 700 million individuals in more than 100 countries.

Yet although it has been around for at least 150 years, the
co-operative form of enterprise is still not generally well
understood - not only by consumers but chartered accountants,
bankers, solicitors and other professionals, such as economic
development officers and teachers, according to a new book
published by the United Kingdom Co-operative Council.

A representative body and "think tank" embracing all types of
co-operative business in the UK, the UKCC is headed by the
prominent West Country farmer and Labour peer, Lord Carter, who
hopes that the book will arouse fresh interest in co-operation
as a fair and democratic way of doing business which protects
consumers' interests and gives them more control over the goods
and services they buy.

The Co-operative Opportunity* provides the most comprehensive and
up-to-date account of co-operative enterprise at national and
international level and is illustrated with facts and figures to
demonstrate the progress achieved since a band of cloggers,
tailors and weavers set up their tiny store in Rochdale,
Lancashire, in 1844 with an idea that was to grow into the modern
co-operative movement.

The 150th anniversary celebrations were attended by co-operators
from as far afield as the USA, Canada, Japan and Australia and
culminated in December with an official visit to Rochdale by the
Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. 

Far from being a dry, historical record, however, The
Co-operative Opportunity presents a detailed examination of
co-operation in all its many forms and asks business leaders and
opinion formers to consider if its message is not increasingly
relevant to the needs of modern society.

"Many people are very disenchanted with the workings of big
business and its remoteness from consumers", said Lord Carter,
"The Co-operative Opportunity makes the case for co-operation as
a business model whose time has come again and, as such, may well
stimulate fresh thought in tackling many of the economic and
social issues confronting today's society."

     The Co-operative Opportunity is published by the United
     Kingdom Co-operative Council at stlg  12.95, including
     post and packing (airmail extra), and is available from
     Holyoake Books, Holyoake House, Hanover Street, Manchester,
     M60 0AS, United Kingdom. ISBN - 0 85195 216 X 120 pages.

     For further information contact:
     Peter Walker, Chief Executive, UKCC, Tel: + 44 161-829 5290
     David Smith, Public Relations Manager, The Co-operative
     Bank, Manchester, United Kingdom. Tel: + 44 161-829 5397