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28. New Pioneers

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Coop Name: Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers
City: Rochdale N° of Members: 30
Country: United Kingdom Year of formation: 1844
About this coop:

The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers was founded in 1844 and was the basis for the modern co-operative movement. The original co-operative developed the Rochdale Principles which have also been accepted as the foundation of the principles on which co-operatives function to this day. The society was formed by a group of ten weavers and 20 other individuals in Rochdale, England as the Industrial Revolution was forcing skilled workers into impoverished circumstances. The co-operators came together to sell basic goods that they could otherwise not afford. After scraping together 28 pounds in capital the store opened selling butter, oats, candles, flour and sugar. Over the next decade the number of cooperatives expanded to 1000 in Britain.

The United Kingdom and many other countries are launching the UN International Year of Cooperatives today, January 12, 2012. On this day, it’s timely to remember the foundation of the modern cooperative movement. The New Pioneers animation was commissioned for the Rochdale Pioneers Museum and Co-operative Heritage Trust as part of the Co-operative outreach work ongoing in the North West.

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