Co-operative Futures began its work supporting the UK’s small-scale fishermen in 2013 by speaking about co-operatives at a national fishermen’s conference.
Working with other organisations in the sector Co-op Futures’ industry analysis suggested that a significant contributory factor in the marginalisation of these fishermen was their lack of representation and participation within the UK’s government recognised Fishery Producer Organisations. Fair representation and participation of small-scale fishermen in producer organisations (POs) is a requirement of the EU Common Fisheries Policy and POs are intended to be co-operative to enshrine that fair representation and participation.
Work began to set up a national co-operative to represent the small-scale fishermen and the Coastal Producer Organisation was incorporated in March 2015. Within a year it had recruited over 200 members and there are currently 280 small-scale fishermen in membership. The Coastal Producer Organisation now has the largest membership of any UK recognised PO and represents more than twice as many small-scale fishermen as all other UK POs combined.
“Co-operative Futures remains the Coastal PO’s go to expert business advice and support service for all the wide variety of red tape, pesky governance, legal, tax questions that small enterprises are confounded with these days.”
Jim Pettipher – CEO