The Co-operative Movement

What is a co-operative?

Co-operatives are businesses owned and run by their members.

Whether they are customers, employees or residents all are given an equal say in what the business does and a share in the profits. 1 billion people across the world are members of co-operatives, and are known as ‘co-operators’.

The original principles of co-operation were set out by the Rochdale Pioneers in 1844, and are still in use today.

Co-operatives today

Today, the co-operative movement is a significant part of the UK economy, growing by 21% to £33 billion since the recession in 2008, and outperforming other sectors. Across the country, nearly 13 million people are members of co-operatives. As well as the familiar shops, travel agents and funeral services, other examples of co-operatives include wind farms, housing, football clubs, credit unions, pubs, digital agencies, schools and hospitals.

As an independent political party, we work to promote the political interests of the UK co-operative movement.
Our historical roots lie in the retail co-operative movement, and we enjoy the support of a number of subscribing co-operative societies, the largest of which is now the Co-operative Group. These societies play an important role in the internal democracy and governance of the Party, and are a key source of support.
Learn more about co-operativesJoin the partyJoin a co‑op