United Nations International Year of Co-operatives launch in Louth

STAFF at the Co-operative store in Louth wore hats from countries around the world and pieced together a giant global jigsaw to mark the official launch of the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives.

Customers on Thursday were greeted with staff wearing the headgear, including a Moroccan fez and an American cowboy hat.

The International Year of Co-operatives 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 over 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.

Kevin Ferguson, Louth store manager, 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. But, as well as supporting the local community, we lead the way on Fairtrade and are part of the huge, international movement of co-operation.

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

For more information on United Nations 2012 International Year of Co-operatives visit the ICA at www.2012.coop .