Dear Editor,

As one of the independent co-operatives operating in your area, we’d like to invite your readers to join us and work together to rebuild our economy and communities with responsibility, fairness and kindness at its core.

During Co-op Fortnight, many of the UK’s 7,063 co-operatives are coming together and pledging to ‘build something better together’. The global societal and environmental challenges we face can’t be achieved alone and there is power in co-operation.

The statement, which can be viewed at, highlights the immense challenges faced by our communities throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Co-operatives have always thrived in periods of social and economic change and, the shared principle of ‘concern for the community’, has been at the heart of our response to this crisis.

We now have a part to play locally and globally through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which are in effect the ‘to do list’ for the world, focusing on, and addressing, the world’s biggest challenges and a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

We remain committed to continuing to work together as co-operatives and with others, so we can build a better future together.

Mark Smith
Chief Executive at Southern Co-op