The UK Co-operative Economy 2012 Report
“The UK co-operative economy” is the annual state of the sector report produced by Co-operatives UK, the trade association for cooperative and mutual businesses. It can be downloaded from the Co-operatives UK web site. The 2012 Report was published on June 28, 2012, and highlights that cooperatives are outperforming the UK market.
Owned and controlled by members and not shareholders, there are more than 5,900 cooperative businesses in the UK which contribute £35.6bn to the UK economy and operate across all business sectors. For the past four years, the sector has outperformed the UK economy, demonstrating resilience in difficult economic times and proving that values and principles go hand in hand with commercial performance.
This report contains a wealth of valuable information and statistics on cooperatives throughout the UK. Some of the highlights include:
Cooperatives across the country
Cooperatives are being launched in the UK at the rate of 450 a year, that’s more than one per day. They range from those with a multimillion-pound turnover to brand new community owned wind farms or sports clubs and exist everywhere from rural communities to city centres. Statistics in the report demonstrate that cooperatives are owned by one in four of the adult UK population.
Cooperatives demonstrate resilience in a downturn
- In 2011, the number of memberships of cooperatives grew by 5.5%.
- Between 2008 and 2011 the number of memberships grew by 19.7%.
- Turnover of the cooperative economy, £35.6 billion
- In 2011, the cooperative economy grew by 1.5%, outperforming the UK economy for the fourth consecutive year. The cooperative economy has grown by 19.6% since 2008 whilst the UK economy in 2011 is 1.7% smaller than in 2008.
Performance of the cooperative economy
In times of economic downturn, whilst the UK economy considers cuts and businesses react to the short term, the cooperative economy behaves differently. Run by its members and for its members, without shareholders, it is an economy that is free to act for the benefit of many, free to make decisions based on the longer term. This richness allows the sector space to listen to all voices, gain a wealth of opinion and plan for the future benefit of the business, its members and its community. It affords cooperatives a wealth of resilience.
- Number of cooperatives in the UK, 5,933
- In 2011 the number of cooperatives grew by 8.9%.
- Between 2008 and 2011 the numbers grew by 23%.