The United Nations have designated 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives and a major conference on Cooperatives will be held on the 28th June 2012 at the Europa Hotel in Belfast. Co-operatives are an alternative way of doing business and whether the members are workers, customers or residents they offer a democratic, shared and sustainable alternative. This conference in Belfast explored the potential of a strong co-operative sector in regenerating local communities and creating sustainable work
with discussions with cooperators from across Britain and Ireland.

Co-operators, community activists, statutory agencies, trade unionists, political representatives and the business community were given the opportunity to find out more about existing and emerging local co-operatives and the global Cooperative Movement.

Speakers included representatives of International Co-operative Alliance, the Plunkett Foundation, the Co-operative Group, The Unicorn Worker’s Co-operative and the Co-operative Electrical, Northern Ireland Co-operative Forum and Trademark – ICTU