‘Rebuilding Better Together’ with Co-ops in 2021

fair employment co-opsThe conference ‘Rebuilding Better Together’ was held on the 1st of July 2021 online to celebrate Co-operative International Day. The event showcased a great number of co-operatives across North and South of the island who all joined their voices for Co-operative Fortnight 2021 across UK and the world.

Co-operatives are emerging in many sectors and in addition to the well established agri-coops and credit unions, the conference welcomed new innovative co-operative initiatives in energy, land, food, social care, cleaning service, craft beer, retail, housing, finance and sports.

The conference opened with an inspiring presentation by Mary Fogarty from The Cottage Loughmore , a community co-operative in Tipperary, who has created 6 new jobs,  20 new volunteers, 300 local members, engaged with 9 food providers and 8 local craft producers and inspired 15 new co-op projects.

During the panel discussions, we discovered how co-operatives offer solutions to the climate crisis, unemployment, marginalisation and build community resilience.

Tiziana O’Hara from Co-operative Alternatives, chaired the ‘Fair and Just Employment’ panel with The Great Care Co-op Ireland , Lacada Brewery  and the Belfast Cleaning Society  – three great examples on how co-operatives empower workers, put democratic practices at the centre of their business and offer opportunities to many without discrimination. Tiziana concluded the discussion reflecting on how the principles of co-operation are the principles for moving forward and the right tools for rebuilding a fairer and kinder society.

Co-operative Alternatives was one of the partners that organised the all-island event. Thanks to all the partners: the Dublin Food Co-op, Co-operative Housing Ireland, the University of Cork Co-operative Studies, Community Finance Ireland, Society for Co-operative Studies Ireland, and the University of Limerick.

You can watch the online conference here: