Consortia approach helps Welsh Businesses grow
The Wales Co-operative Centre launches a new report today (Monday 25th June), highlighting the positive impact of businesses in Wales working together The publication, ‘Co-operative Consortia: A model for growth in a challenging economy’, looks at the benefits of using a consortia approach and how it can create businesses opportunities.
The report is the third in a series of publications which the Centre has produced to mark the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives 2012.
The report addresses consortia across several different sectors including tourism, food and drink, manufacturing, energy and construction.
Clwydian Range Tourism Group
The Clwydian Range Tourism Group was formed as a response to the foot and mouth crisis in 2001. It has approximately 100 members who are mainly small tourist based businesses across the Clwydian Range, which is a designated Area of Natural Beauty. The consortia aims to provide support, advice and networking opportunities to members, and to work in partnership with Denbighshire and Flintshire County Councils to promote the Clwydian Range as a major tourist destination.
Cilydd is a co-operative consortium of independent tea houses and cafés in North Wales. The members share a common commitment to staying independent and use the consortium to look at ways in which they could work together to improve their marketing, buying, training and quality standards – whilst keeping their own individual identities. Cilydd intends to create a tea and coffee culture in Wales which is a market leader in the UK by using its branding effectively, establishing a co-operative roastery and investing in training and quality standards throughout their cafes.
Pembrokeshire Produce Direct
Pembrokeshire Produce Direct is a co-operative of food producers which offers a practical alternative to supermarket shopping. The company operates as an ordering and delivery hub for food suppliers who wish to sell their produce directly to customers. Pembrokeshire Produce Direct was awarded the Wales True Taste Online Retailer of the Year award for 2009 – 10.
The Welsh Perry and Cider Society
The Welsh Perry and Cider Society consists of a group of businesses across Wales who have come together to promote the manufacture, consumption and appreciation of Welsh Perry and Cider. The Society includes over 30 cider producers of different sizes across Wales – many of whom have won awards for the quality of their products. It has sourced funding to employ a development officer who is tasked with providing technical support on management of orchards and harvesting, quality control, encouraging collaborative and co-operative working practices and adding value to the orchard owners and growers through marketing and branding initiatives. The Society also runs and supports a number of Cider and Perry Festivals across Wales.
A co-operative consortium is ‘a co-operative that is owned and controlled by the people or organisations that use its services’.
Businesses can come together to share costs, services or a common facility to help members improve their business performance. The co-operative consortia structure allows a range of opportunities for growth across a variety of business sectors. In Wales, these include tourism, food and drink, retail, manufacturing and agriculture. The structure is flexible, adaptable and is an effective tool for helping like-minded businesses achieve objectives that they cannot achieve by working in isolation. The benefits of working in consortia include: improved access to procurement opportunities, developing joint marketing approaches, sharing risk, joint purchasing and developing quality standards. For micro businesses and sole traders they can also offer mutual support to business owners.
Wales Co-operative Centre Chief Executive, Derek Walker, welcomed the publication, ‘Collaboration in business is essential across most sectors to ensure growth and to facilitate new product development. There is no doubt that businesses that work together can grow together and the co-operative consortia model can help Welsh businesses achieve this’.
The Federation of Small Businesses in Wales endorses the publication. Iestyn Davies, FSB Wales Head of External Affairs commented, ‘Consortia approaches can allow businesses to add value to their customers, improve marketing, decrease outgoings and have the potential to help those businesses access larger procurement opportunities. Increased consortia working can support the Welsh economy and help Welsh businesses grow’.
The Wales Co-operative Centre has a specialist team charged with helping the development of private sector consortia. They have supported businesses across many sectors including manufacturing, tourism, retail and food and drink.
Further information is available on www.walescooperative.org or by calling the Wales Co-operative Centre on 0300 111 5050.