The Incredible Hull

This year's Freshers' Fair has seen the beginning of a Co-op and Fairtrade Society, created by students at Hull University.

Watchdog thinks politics is a dirty word

Charities and campaign groups are falling victim to legislation that outlaws advertising towards a political end. Shelter's recent adverts aimed at people on council housing waiting lists has been the latest to take this hit.

London 2012 – the People’s Games?

With the preparations of the 2012 Olympics underway, there have many complaints about the management and the costs of the games. The Co-operative Party has a solution to bridge this divide between the communities and the management.

Co-operative video rentals

Film-making and acting are industries long associated with co-operatives. And the new technologies available are continuing to empower people in collaborative co-operative ways.

AFC Bournemouth finds new mutual solution

Among the 100 or so football supporters' trusts in England and Wales, a small number own the club outright, like Brentford, AFC Wimbledon and AFC Telford United. These are co-op clubs, run along democratic lines, with every supporter-member having a vote and a say.

An Equal Exchange between North and South

The second case study produced by the Co-operative Party as part of its campaign on Ethical and Fair Trade concerns Equal Exchange. Equal Exchange UK was founded in 1979, and Equal Exchange US in 1986. Both are worker co-ops established to create a new approach to trade, a model that engages consumers and builds honest and fair trade relationships through co-operative principles.

Co-op coffee on film Part 2

As Fairtrade Fortnight continues, we receive offers of more and more promotional material. A particularly welcome item in the post was a DVD from the Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign: Coffee - Take It Fairly: Stories of Nicaraguan women fairtrade producers. Three women of Los Alpes near Jinotega, north Nicaragua, members of the SOPPEXCCA co-op, tell their stories.

Turning wine into water

Continuing with the theme of Fairtrade Fortnight, I turn to Argentina. Argentina is close to my heart - the birthplace of my mother and where most of my family still live. Although it is not one of the poorest countries, there are pockets of great poverty and small producers there face the same issues of market access and trade justice as farmers elsewhere.

Going bananas for trade justice

In Fairtrade Fortnight, one campaigning co-op is attempting to make people aware of the truth behind the global banana industry. Banana Link is, as they say on their website, "a small and dynamic not-for-profit co-operative, founded in 1996 that campaigns for a fair and sustainable banana trade." They "work in close partnership with Latin American banana workers trade unions, small Caribbean farmers and civil society organizations in Europe and the U.S."

Choose Fairtrade this fortnight

Today is the first day of Fairtrade Fortnight, an initiative of which the Co-operative Party and the co-op movement are keen supporters. February's policy theme for the Co-operative Party has been Ethical and Fair Trade and we have been highlighting co-op work in this field.

Co-op coffee on film Part 1

A few weeks ago the Co-operative Party premiered a new film about global coffee production in a screening at Parliament. The movie, Black Gold, features Tadesse Meskela, the general manager of the Oromia Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union in Ethopia. Tadesse himself was able to join us and the film makers for the screening in London, as well as a reception at Number 10 and a debate for members with Hilary Benn MP in Wakefield.