Friday, 31 August 2007

Cucumber Story

"The Co-operative Food is to become the first retailer in the UK to launch “naked” cucumbers. Innovative box packaging will save unnecessary packaging while preserving shelf life and freshness." Link.
Stats : Sales of 10 million cucumbers means 8 million tonnes of plastic wrap - but not anymore.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Ethical Xmas

A xmas story already, oh no, actually I saw one last month with Harrod's having a xmas department opening in the summer, avoid the rush..

"The Co-operative Group has revealed its plans for Christmas 2007, and customers can expect to see a host of ethical npds, as the retailer moves into new areas of Fairtrade and furthers its commitments in ethical meat production"

It's from Talking Retail, and npds stands for new product developments for those not in the grocery business.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Blog Action Day

"It's on Monday October 15th. The aim is for bloggers around the web to unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind - the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. The aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future."

We'll be taking part - it's not hard to write about the environment from a co-operative perspective. More details, and to register interest - link.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Conference Season Approaches

Co-operative Party Conference, London
Thursday 13 September at 1200h, and ends on Saturday 15 September around 1600h.
Details PDF. What's On and Who's On - link. Saturday afternoon features a showing of the film "We Are Together" released in 2006 - details. Looking forward to it and will be there blogging it.

Labour Party Conference, Bournemouth
Sunday 23rd September to Thursday 27th September
it'll be in the news media. If anyone is blogging it on a daily please email.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Co-op Party at Labour Party Conference

Noticed that the Co-operative Party will be holding a number of events as part of the Labour Party Conference in Bournemouth.

Sunday 23rd September 1730 - 1900h Marriot Hotel
The People's Games London 2012 with Andy Love MP, and Peter Hunt author of 'The People's Game' amongst other activities.

Tuesday 25th September 1730 - 1900h Marriot Hotel
Co-operation, Education and Trust with Ed Balls MP, Mervyn Wilson, Russell Gill
plus there is a drinks reception later, if you have an invite.

Won't be going, but if anybody wants to send reports, photos or links to blog entries they will be most welcome. They are always more interesting and insightful than the mainstream media coverage.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Unicorn Co-op on YouTube

Lets Go Global have released the film they made at Unicorn Co-operative, Chorlton, Manchester on You Tube. It's 6 mins 29 seconds, it's very good, and yes that's myself at the end of the piece in helpful workers co-operative grocer mode (i.e. rambling to the young makers of the video)...

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Sort of Ethical Shopping / Voting

Interesting Conference coming up in London - UK Co-operative Forum Annual Conference, 5th December 2007. Described as "a must-attend event for anyone who has ever thought about what they put in their shopping basket." Details.

Several of us have a take on this in Withington. John Hacking one of our members coined the phrase "Social Liberal, Economic Conservative", and it's a type of consumer politics that's taking place among a section of the constituents here with it's ever changing demography. It is wider than just buying Fairtrade, but then going to Tesco or Asda for 56p a kilo bananas - a bargain, though you can't pay any banana grower a living wage at that price. It also means many floating voters who treat politics like a shopping choice. Hopefully I might be able to put a together short article with some clarity. Needs some input.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Renewable Co-ops

The UK has achieved little so far on renewables and there is a 20 percent EU target set for 2020 - see Guardian report 13th August. Some of what has been achieved has been by co-operatives. The Summer Newsletter from Energy4All (slogan : delivering community-owned green power) tells of reports from four co-operatives in different parts of Britain delivering the megawatts. Also a new Skye.Coop who will be making a share issue this autumn to build 10 x. 2MW turbines.

Links : Energy4All ; Baywind Co-op; Westmill Co-op; Boyndie Co-op; Fens Co-op; Skye.Coop
Co-operative Party : Energy & Carbon Reduction policy was announced in May - Link.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

The football season has started just as the political season has its annual holiday. Picture is of Stanley Mathews who had boot deal with the C.W.S. for which he received £20 a week. The commercialisation of football begins. But I don't think you can blame the co-op or the poorly paid football star for what has followed.

The in-store appearance in Ardwick, Manchester coincided with Blackpool's fixture with Manchester United that day. So he probably got away to do some dazzling dribbling at Old Trafford. United won 1-0.

The Stanley Mathews football boots were manufactured at a CWS factory in Heckmondwike, Yorkshire. He also made several promotional films for the C.W.S. advertising the "flexible boot".

Friday, 10 August 2007

Co-operative Green Buildings

You'll be aware of co-operatives gaining green credentials by not just talking the maxims but actually constructing in an eco-way e.g. CIS Tower solar panels.

Unicorn Co-operative Grocery, Chorlton, Manchester are completing their green roof - but it actually comes in brown, complete with wooden decked area. "The roof – which will measure almost 385 square meters – will be made up of a sedum area, a brown area and a wetland, including a pond which will be filled with rain water.

The biodiversity project has been funded by the community organisation, SITA Trust, through the Landfill Communities Fund, and work has been carried out by volunteers from the conservation charity, British Trust for Conservation Volunteers" Story & photos in South Manchester Reporter - Link

Preview video of roof under construction 1.28 seconds. Link

The Co-operative Bank is working in conjunction with Living Space 21 to offer affordable sustainable housing. You need to check out to see the £60,000 homes on offer - though will need some land and planning permission to go with that low price tag.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

New Co-op Store

After a few hours research in the Co-op Archives at Holyoake House - all will be revealed at the Area Co-op Party dinner in November in Prestwich - ventured into the new Co-operative store opposite Urbis. Bit chilly in there after walking around in a t-shirt in the bright sunlight - the air-con was blasting away with the doors open, mmmm. Excellent layout, no clutter with wide isles. Made a few impulse purchases. Not a destination shopping trip but if you're in Manchester you could pick up some butties, and a few items for a evening meal.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

57 years ago

History series, and back to the General Election of 1950...
"Let us as co-operators stick to our principles. Let us ignore the Tory road to poverty and misery. Our road must be the Labour and Co-operative road to progress. On the 23rd February 1950 out duty is to VOTE LABOUR"

This was a page in the Manchester & Salford Co-operative Herald, a free monthly magazine given out in Co-op stores and the Co-operative Party was allowed a full page of propaganda. The magazine was the longest running in-house publication of any UK society. Click the pic to enlarge.

When did you last see party political material, especially using the Socialism word, in a food store?

Saturday, 4 August 2007

A co-op store in Manchester

When you consider that the Co-operative Group has its HQ in Manchester - it has never had a food store (apart from a staff shop in New Century House) in the city centre. At last it has opened one in the Co-op Bank building on Corporation Street. As well as being powered by renewable electricity from wind and water, the convenience store is be the first in the UK to use fridge and freezer cabinets, which use carbon dioxide as their refrigerant.

We'll be down there this week to check it out and pick up a few victuals.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Brewery Trip

We've got our Co-op Party / Members Group brewery trip to Hesket Newmarket in September, but the Prince of Wales has beaten us to it - approval for co-operation creating a thriving community. We're going by coach, and I'm considering handing out some song sheets - after an hour 'i spy with my little eye' or counting caravans to Cumbria wears a little thin.

Film Rate

Find out how your blog, Facebook, MySpace comes out in a film rating as General Audience but yours might get a PG, PG 13...just type in your URL. Credit to John's Labour Blog for spotting this one.

Mingle2 - Check Your Rating..