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77. Blueprint for a better world

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Coop Name: De Wrikker drukkerscollectief cvba N° of Employees: 10
City: Berchem - Antwerpen N° of Members: 14
Country: Belgium Year of formation: 1988
Website: http://www.dewrikker.be Twitter: Link
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About this coop:

De Wrikker is a printery, founded in 1975 and self-managed as a collective of equal paid loaners, also the coöperants. We made the evolution to a qualitative and eco based printery, with 400 small clients, mostly non-profit organisations and small businesses. Making the collective work is a daily task for us all, but the low turnover rate shows we're very steady.

Erik van der Veken writes, as he says, on behalf of the cooperative about the relaxed and warm environment and the benefits of an egalitarian structure.

“De Wrikker is a printery, a print-shop as you like. We’re printing (offset) namecards to big posters, and a lot of magazines with a small range but a broad worldview. We’re also capable of doing lots of other technical things in the finishing of printed paper. And we have a total design and lay-out team, doing also web-stuff.

De Wrikker was founded in the early seventies and has evolved through the years, from a non profit organisation to a collective based company.

The internal structure is very simple and based on equality. There is no boss and each of us has a specific responsability. Internal workgroups work on specific clusters like HR, financial affairs, quality, production and so on…The relation with customers is basically very relaxed and warm. Maybe that’s why we don’t have really a high rate of coming and going. Not between clients, and even not with people working here.

Our culture is very different from regular companies. We see and still hope that this could be a model to other companies and organizations. In this way (telling our story) maybe it can help spread out what we all should do more: teamwork, building solidarity and sustainable structures based on equality and mutual respect.

Erik Van der Veken,
for the collective.”

Author of this story
Erik Van der Veken
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