Hats a good way to mark worldwide co-op celebration

FANCY headgear ranging from a traditional Moroccan fez to an American cowboy’s stetson will be perched atop the heads of staff of the Co-op food store in Jedburgh today.

The shop workers will be marking the start of the International Year of Co-operatives, which aims to piece together a giant global jigsaw to celebrate the worldwide successes of co-operation.

Designated by the United Nations as a celebratory year, the 2012 International Year of Co-operatives initiative provides the opportunity for the one billion co-operators across the world to highlight how, through co-operative values and principles, “Co-operative enterprises build a better world”.

Co-operatives provide more than 100 million jobs around the world, and the Co-operative Group operates 4,800 trading outlets in the UK, employing more than 106,000 people with an annual turnover of more than £13bn. The Co-operative Food is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer.

Craig Boggs, store manager at Jedburgh, said: “With a store in every UK postal area, we are committed to the communities in which we trade, and we support local charities and good causes via our Community Fund.

“As well as supporting the local community, we lead the way on Fairtrade and are part of a much wider community, the huge, international movement of co-operation.

“Thanks to the International Year of Co-operatives, everyone from the Jewellers Wynd food store in Jedburgh to the Ibaraki fishing co-operative in Japan can celebrate the responsible way we do business.”

Co-operatives UK, the body representing co-operative organisations in the UK, will be supporting its members with a year-long programme of activities and materials aimed at raising awareness of the UK co-operative sector throughout 2012.