Local enterprise highlighted in report on strength of co-operative model

Iain Gray MSP has welcomed a new report highlighting the resilience of co-operatives in Scotland and the role they have played in helping communities through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Revive and thrive: Why co-ops are pivotal to a fairer, stronger Scotland says the movement could now support people to get back to work in the face of widespread redundancies and business crises.

Prepared for the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Co-operatives, the report sets out six recommendations for policy-makers to act on, now and after next May’s Holyrood election, to further develop the co-op sector in Scotland.

The Crunchy Carrot in Dunbar features in the report as one of four case studies of Scottish co-ops that continued to operate and serve their communities during lockdown and beyond.

The report highlights that the community shop moved from delivering 60 weekly veg boxes before the pandemic to 350 during the early stages of lockdown, when it was closed and the business went delivery-only. Deliveries continued throughout, with customer requests maintained due to strong relationships with local suppliers.

Welcoming the report, Iain Gray MSP said:

“Co-ops always have an important role in the economy and local communities but, as this report highlights, they really came into their own during lockdown. Local co-ops across Scotland rose to meet the new challenges and adapted to serve their communities and make a positive difference, and it’s great to see the Crunchy Carrot featured as one of the examples.

“However, as well as showcasing the contribution made by co-ops during the pandemic, this report also makes important recommendations on how the Scottish Government can better support the co-operative movement. I hope Ministers will respond positively to the report and adopt its recommendations to support co-operatives.”

James Wright of Co-operatives UK, who wrote the report, said:

“The crisis has shown a need for greater co-operation at all levels of Scottish society and the economy.  It has highlighted the need for people and businesses to work together more – and more efficiently – and the report highlights the success of Scottish co-ops rising to the challenge of helping Scots weather the coronavirus storm.”

The full report can be downloaded at www.uk.coop/resources/revive-and-thrive-why-co-ops-are-pivotal-fairer-stronger-scotland