REPRESENTATIVES of the new Bathurst Wholefood Co-operative (BWC) were on hand this week for the launch of a set of stamps marking 2012 as United Nations International Year of Co-operatives.
BWC treasurer Dr Jess Jennings was invited to the launch as a representative of one of the country’s newest co-operatives.
BWC began operations last month, supplying fresh, local and organic produce from its store in the Macquarie Plaza.
Also at the launch was International Co-operative Alliance president Dame Pauline Green, who said tough global economic times had seen many communities return to co-operative business models.
“In the wake of the GFC, the world is looking for business models to strengthen economies, generate jobs and support communities – and the co-operative model is that alternative,” Dame Pauline said.
“It’s viable, strong and growing,” Dame Pauline said.
“Running a profitable business and caring for people does not need to be a trade-off, in co-operative businesses they sit comfortably side by side.
“They have come through the GFC stronger than ever; and internationally, the top 300 co-operatives are worth more than $US1.6 trillion – these are serious businesses with scale.
“In Australia the economy is not just run by big corporations and big not-for-profits – there is a dynamic and successful third force that could be making an even bigger contribution to the complex and pressing economic issues of our time.
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