BIG DAYS AHEAD FOR THE CO-OPS

McMillin, Miles

The Cooperative Movement: Big Days Ahead For The Co-ops By MILES McMILLIN THE cooperative movement has some ambitious plans for the future. In addition to laying out a hard-hitting campaign...

...That is why Murray D. Lincoln, president of the Cooperative League of the U. S. A., told delegates to the Centennial Congress in Chicago that one of the big jobs before the cooperatives is to blanket the cities with co-op stores...
...If the action of Wisconsin co-ops is any criterion, the NTEA challenge will be met head on...
...Last year it amounted to $750,000,000...
...A Drive In The Cities But co-op leaders have other problems to wrestle with...
...Here in Wisconsin, the pace is being set...
...A few years ago such a step would have been impossible due to the shyness of the farm cooperatives toward getting tied up with labor...
...The Chicago Congress authorized the incorporation of the International Cooperative Trading and Manufacturing Association to deal with foreign co-ops in petroleum products, food, and related supplies...
...To remedy this, co-op leaders plan a program of standardizing trademarks, the co-op label, and of painting buildings and equipment in standard color combinations for flash and recognition...
...The second organizational meeting of the Wisconsin Cooperative Association has just been concluded...
...To this end a joint drive, in which labor union and co-op officials will collaborate, is underway...
...They know that they are turning out an un- precedented volume, of business...
...Standardizing And Diversifying . Postwar plans also call for diversifying co-op products with not so much emphasis on farm supplies, although activity in this field will not be diminished...
...The co-ops have established a Labor Service Division which will handle the drive to make America's organized laborer co-op conscious...
...Cooperators have seen the results of polls which show that only 10 per cent of U. S. residents have heard of cooperatives...
...Only 25 per cent of their business was done in the cities where 75 per cent of the people live and where 90 per cent of the national income is earned...
...But NTEA has driven the producer and consumer closer together than ever before and there is a growing realization that they must stay together if they want to survive...
...The drive for expansion through the labor movement is only part of a much broader program...
...But if a fight is necessary they will be ready for it...
...Young, vigorous, and daring, they are ready to tackle any problem...
...Sales volume, it is estimated, can be tripled by 1950 if services in all the co-op stores are expanded...
...Never before have they shown a more united front .than they are at the present time in the organizational effort to meet the threat of the NTEA...
...But they aren't allowing any complacency to develop...
...The turnout and enthusiasm of the delegates representing all types of co-ops exceeded the most optimistic hopes of the men who are doing the work...
...Thus, as the co-ops complete their first 100 years of existence, they point for the greatest era of expansion in their history...
...Since Pearl Harbor only 147 urban food stores have been established to bring the total to 1,200...
...Development of foreign trade is also being planned...
...In addition to laying out a hard-hitting campaign against the anti-cooperative outfit, the National Tax Equality Association, they have outlined a comprehensive program for expansion and education which, if successful, will answer some of the friendly criticism now being directed at them...
...The co-ops stand a good chance of accomplishing a good deal along these lines inasmuch as European cooperatives will undoubtedly be selected to distribute a large amount of the goods provided from rehabilitation of the war-torn areas...
...It is unfortunate that at this hopeful stage of their development the co-ops find it necessary to devote time, money, and effort to fight off the political attacks of the monopolists...
...They know all too well that they are far too weak in the large urban areas...
...And imbued with a crusading spirit for a new world in which peace, security, and freedom will be guaranteed to all men, they are determined to go forward in quest of an economy of abundance...
...Representatives from the powerful cooperative movements in Scotland and England will meet American representatives soon to discuss and develop a far-ranging program of international trade...
...Research on frozen food equipment is to be started, with a view to making lockers standard equipment in every retail outlet...

Vol. 8 • December 1944 • No. 50


 
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