Sunday, 24 May 2015

Ecological Land Co-op covered by the Independent

The Independent on Sunday has a great piece today on the Ecological Land Co-op. This is a project that Somerset Co-operative Services played a key role in initiating ten years ago. An outline paper entitled 'An Ecological Land Co-op' describes a vision of a business that will be "run by and accountable to people who are or intend to be managing land ecologically, which can buy land speculatively for ecological purposes... The co-operative would be financed by a share issue which would give it a ‘war chest’ for making purchases. Having bought land, the co-op can find the best people or organisations to manage it, and put in planning applications... Users can rent the land at a rate they can afford... When projects are well established, they can purchase the freehold, subject only to the condition that the land remains in ecological use." Well, it's here and ready to grow - visit their website to find out more.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

We've been working with the Social Enterprise Mark team to develop rules that are a solid basis for businesses seeking to use this badge of best practice. SEM is all about social purpose and community benefit, which provides an obvious fit with co-operatives; but not all co-op rules are helpful in showing how member benefit and social benefit fit together. We added new options to the Co-operative Rules and, added to the Community Benefit Society and Community Interest Company versions, we now have three great ways to structure a social co-operative.
Visit SEM at to find out more about how businesses benefit from using this brand, and click on 'registrations' or read this briefing to see how Somerset Rules social accounting, stakeholder engagement and ethical business practices put co-operation at the heart of social enterprise.