The Co-operative movement is one of this country’s great treasures. It has 12.9 million members and is worth over £33.5 billion. Co-op’s offer a business model with a genuine commitment to ethics and democracy at its core. For example the Co-operative chain of food stores have combined successfully operating in a very competitive market with cutting carbon emissions by 35%, selling more fair trade products, investing £1 billion in renewables, and recruiting thousands of apprentices!
With the global economy mired in crisis as a result of a failed banking model, people are looking for economic alternatives. The co-op movement provides one. I am proud the Town Hall will be flying the new Co-operative flag. We want to mark 2012 as the UN Year of the Co-op, and to encourage the growth and establishment of co-operative enterprises in Tower Hamletss.