Which are the UK's best co-operatives? From large commercial businesses to expanding enterprises and innovative start-ups, there are thousands of thriving co-operatives across the UK.
We are asking the people who are running, using and supporting co-ops up and down the country to decide. Scores of nominations were received for the Co-operative of the Year awards throughout April, showcasing the diversity and strength of the co-op sector. From these, 10 organisations have been shortlisted across three categories.
Leading Co-operative of the Year 2017
- Chelmsford Star Co-operative, an Essex-based customer owned retailer making a big local impact
- Suma Wholefoods, one of the UK’s leading worker owned businesses and successful wholesalers
- South Caernarfon Creameries, a co-op owned by 130 Welsh dairy producers innovating in a difficult industry
Growing Co-operative of the Year 2017
- Daily Bread Co-operative, a worker owned wholefood retailer that has inspired and supported others
- Dulas, a cutting edge renewable energy business owned and run by its employees
- Outlandish, a web developers that has recently converted to a co-op and works to promote the model
Inspiring Co-operative of the Year 2017
- Balsall Heath Housing Co-operative, a housing co-op in Birmingham working hard to engage its tenant members
- Developer Society, a new co-op of web developers working for a social purpose
- Naked Lunch Café, a new co-op café in Liverpool helping to lead regeneration in the area
- New Leaf Co-op, Edinburgh’s worker owned wholefood store which is supporting co-ops across the city
Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, said: “We have a wonderful range of co-ops in these awards. I think the passion felt for each and every one of the shortlisted organisations shines through in their nominations.
“It’s a tough choice to make, but because co-operatives are all about giving people control over what matters to them, it is apt that the people - the co-op members, customers, suppliers, supporters - will decide the outcome through an online vote.”
Everyone is asked to read the nominations and vote for their favourite co-op. Voting in the Co-operative Council Innovation Network-sponsored awards closes on 25 June.