The Co-operative Group has launched a new ad campaign urging shoppers to 'Join the Revolution'.

The campaign, which launches today, is part of a pledge in the society's recently launched Ethical Plan to more than treble its six million-strong membership to 20 million by 2020.

The ad tells how the Rochdale Pioneers, who established the first retail co-op in 1844, started a revolution that is still going strong.

A media campaign will provide guidance on how people can set up their own co-operative businesses, fund community projects, campaign for change and purchase ethical products and services.

“Until the 1980s people understood the benefits of mutual ownership, but then the UK’s family silver was sold-off cheaply in a wave of de-mutualisation that weakened the influence ordinary consumers could have on our economy," said The Co-op’s chief executive, Peter Marks.

“We are beginning to see momentum again at grassroots level, where the Co-operative Enterprise Hub is helping new co-operative businesses set up at a rate of more than one a day.

“But the opportunity is much bigger than that. Co-operatives alone are not a panacea, but, sitting alongside other business and service models, they can help address the unprecedented social, economic and environmental challenges facing the country.”

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