Newsletter Feb 2023

Society for Co-operative Studies Membership Form


Dear all,
Here are some of the latest updates related to co-operative activities across Ireland
and further afield that might be of interest. Any information or further insights from
members related to the legislative matters highlighted below would be greatly
If people have any items for the next newsletter, please let me know.
Patrick Doyle, Communications Officer, SCSI

An update on the General Scheme of the Co-operative Societies Bill. More

information on that is available here:

The Irish Times reported an update on the progress of the legislation reporting that it
could boost the Irish co-operative sector by €9.7 billion. The piece some
differences in opinion over the contents of the legislation and features some comments
from our president, Bridget Carroll, on the issue of an asset lock. The article also
touches upon the fact that worker co-operatives have not been legally designated

in the new legislation:
historic-bill-could-boost-97bn-co-op-sector/ If members have any views or comments

on the matter that they would like circulated then please do get in touch.
Meanwhile, as I write, in the UK, the Co-operative, Mutuals, and Friendly Societies
Bill, 2022-23 is being currently debated and is expected to pass through the House of
Commons today as it possesses cross-party support. The proposed bill seeks to
create restrictions that co-ops can use to lock in their assets. Last month I reported
that the legislation will apply to Northern Ireland, as per the published parliamentary

9647.pdf However, I have heard conflicting things on that matter so if any readers can

shed light on that issue it would be greatly appreciated.

A new open-access publication has been released focused on the issue of co-
operative governance. Humanistic Governance in Democratic Organizations: The

Co-operative Difference has been published by Springer edited by Sonja Novković,

Karen Miner, and Cian McMahon. It is available to download here and will surely be
of interest to many members:
In the Irish agricultural sector, the return to enhancing the presence of co-operatives
within the sector is being negotiated at various levels. Kerry Group are in
negotiations with the Kerry Co-op to take a 60% stake in its legacy dairy business

according to the Irish Times.

Also, in a recent development emerging out of a meeting of farmers in Athlone, there
are early plans afoot to create a new co-operative organisation to enable farmers to
purchase goods at a scale that will deliver savings. The farmer quoted in the piece
states that the intention is “to build it from the bottom up. We hope to get across
Ireland with a new co-operative that cannot be corrupted. That would be the

greater picture.”

In forestry news, the Forestry Owners’ Co-operative Society have put forward
their concerns about Coillte’s plans to offload land to favoured investment funds.
The Southern Star reports on the meeting in more detail here:

These developments in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis highlight a resurgence of
interest in some of the old methods once again. Moreover, they suggest that there
are ample opportunities for co-operatives to provide answers to issues facing many
people across Ireland, and further afield.

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