New global coop ‘marque’ launched

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The main road from the international airport in Cape Town is enlivened by flags showing the new global ‘COOP’ marque, launched on Saturday by the International Co-operative Alliance at its world conference in the city. It’s the first public outing of what the ICA hopes will soon become a familiar logo, one which will reinforce an international identity for the cooperative movement based on the slogan that ‘co-operative enterprises build a better world’.

If you visit the Guardian’s social enterprise site, you’ll find the piece which I filed this morning on the launch… and you’ll also see my comment that it appears unlikely that the UK’s Co-operative Bank – with only 30% cooperative control – will be eligible to use it.

The design work was undertaken by long-established workers’ cooperative Calvert’s and the design company’s Sion Whellens was at the conference today, explaining how the eventual logo came to be the one chosen.  His hope, he said, was that in due time the logo would be as familiar as the Fair Trade mark, which he described as something of an inspiration behind the project.

The Oxford-based cooperative advisory body Plunkett Foundation was quick off the mark and is the first organisation to be granted use of the marque, with the Co-operative Press and (of course) Calvert’s also already approved.  Coop federations in Canada and the US have also already been given the green light.

Details of the marque and how to apply to use it are at http://www.identity.coop/

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