Co-operative Federations

Co-operative societies often come together into federations of organisations that share a common aim, are involved in a particular business or are in the same geographical area.  The National Co-operative Archive holds records of the Co-operative Productive Federation, Federation of Agricultural Co-operatives, Co-operative Coal Federation, North West Section Co-operative Farming Society and the Metropolitan Co-operative Political Federation.

CPF – Co-operative Productive Federation

The Co-operative Productive Federation was formed in 1882 with the aim of promoting unity of action amongst the small number of productive societies that were in existence, securing capital for their use and finding markets for their products. Within ten years of its formation, the number of co-operative productive societies trebled and by 1940 it boasted 40 member societies and sales of over £3.5 million.

Its headquarters are in Leicester and the majority of its member societies are based in the East Midlands region.

The collection consists of minutes from Co-operative Productive Federation board meetings, correspondence between its secretary and member societies, promotional materials, documents related to the role of the society within the co-operative movement, financial reports on member societies, press clippings relating to the society and other related documents.

FAC - Federation of Agricultural Co-operatives

The Federation of Agricultural Co-operatives (FAC) was formed in 1949 as a central body to co-ordinate the work of existing federal agricultural organisations throughout the British Isles. The FAC consisted of the Agricultural Central Co-operative Association (ACCA), the Welsh Agricultural Organisation Society (WAOS), the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS), the Ulster Agricultural Organisation Society (UAOS), the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (IAOS), the Agricultural Co-operative Managers Association (ACMA) and the Plunkett Foundation for Co-operative Studies. The FAC’s job was to deal with matters of common interest to all of its members including amendments to the law affecting co-operatives, education and training of staff, relations between co-operatives and marketing boards, collecting statistics, trade between co-operatives in the various member countries and the promotion of international co-operative relations.

This collection consists of records created by the Federation of Agricultural Co-operatives and its constituent organisations including annual reports and minutes of each of the organisations, correspondence, and pamphlets.

X1 - Co-operative Coal Federation

The Co-operative Coal Federation Limited was set up in 1891 following discussions between representatives of Greenfield Co-operative Society (near Oldham) and several other societies in the local area. The idea was to be a coal wholesaler to those societies on the same lines as the CWS. The main protagonist of the federation was Mr W Lawton of Greenfield Co-operative Society. Representatives from local societies met in September 1891 in Droylsden. 36 delegates attended from societies including Failsworth, Stalybridge, Hyde, Manchester and Salford, Uppermill and Diggle.

The collection consists of a letter book.

X4 - North West Section Co-operative Farming Society

The first meeting to discuss setting up an agricultural co-operative in the North Western region took place on 15 January 1885. Adam Percival was made Chairman and Mr S Bamford the Secreatry.  Several farms were visited as possible locations for the venture and a farm at Smeaton Wood became the firm favourite of the Committee. In early 1886 discussions took place over a price for the land and the North West Section of the Co-operative Union was consulted to gain authority to make an offer. The society then made efforts to gain sufficient subscribers to the scheme as to push forward. Despite several attempts to gain further support, the society decided on 15th December 1888 to wind up.

The collection consists of a minute book (1885-1888).

X8 - Metropolitan Co-operative Political Federation

The Metropolitan Co-operative Political Federation consisted of representatives from London Co-operative Society, Watford Co-operative Society, Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society, Dartford Co-operative Society, South Suburban Co-operative Society, Enfield Co-operative Society, Addlestone Co-operative Society and Grays Co-operative Society. The representatives met monthly to discuss and report on political activities in their societies.

The collection consists of a minute book (1937-1955).

X12- Associated Co-operative Creameries

The Associated Co-operative Creameries was set up in 1961 by officials from the Bishop Aukland Co-operative Society, Darlington Co-operative and Industrial Society and the Stockton Co-operative Society. The purpose was to make a federalised dairy trade in the region. The federal later became part of the Co-operative Wholesale Society’s dairy processing and distribution Milk Group, after a series of mergers in which the societies composing the federal were acquired by the Co-operative Wholesale Society (now the Co-operative Group) in 1992. ACC’s processing arm of the business was later sold to Dairy Farmers of Britain, a farming co-operative, in 2004.

The collection consists of minutes of Board meetings (1960-1967).

X16 - Glasgow and District Co-operative Association

The Glasgow and Suburbs Co-operative Conference Association was established in 1866. The aims of the conference were “to promote the extension and consolidation of the co-operative movement in the district” and to allow local co-operative societies to combine in order to be represented in public bodies such as local councils and school boards. Led by an elected council, the association held conferences between delegates from co-operative societies and Women’s Guilds in the Glasgow area. The association also had ties with Scottish branches of the Co-operative Party, and the groups sometimes held joint meetings. In April 1920, the name of the association was changed to the Glasgow and District Co-operative Conference. The name of the association was changed again in 1946, when the constitution and rules were amended. These alterations changed the administrative structure of the association, as well as amending its name to the Glasgow and District Co-operative Association (incorporating Glasgow District Council).  The association appears to have still been working in 1973, but the collection contains records up to 1970 only.

The collection consists of minute books and booklets for meetings of the association and its various committees (1881-1970).

X17 - North Wales Co-operative Managers' Association

The North Wales Co-operative Managers’ Association was formed following an initial meeting at Chester Society’s room on 26 March 1924. The meeting was attended by Managers of societies at Buckley, Ffynnon Groyu, Mold Junction, Brymbo, Queensferry, Llandudno Junction, New York Penmaemawr, Oswestry, Chirk, Aberystwyth, Towyn, Leeswood, Cefn and Wrexham. It was agreed at the meeting that a Managers Association for North Wales be formed on trial for 12 months.The first official meeting of the society took place on 1st April 1924.

The collection consists of a minute book (1924-1949).

X25- Rochdale District Co-operative Association

Rochdale District Co-operative Association was made up of representatives from co-operatives societies in the Rochdale area. They held quarterly conferences to discuss specific subjects relating to co-operation.

This collection consists of the meeting minutes of the Association (1931-1945).