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Celebrating International Co-operative Day and 150 years of trading in Wales.

The Co-operative Group in Wales is planning a bumper day of activities and celebration for International Co-operative Day (ICD) on July 3, which comes at the end of Cooperative Fortnight.

The Co-operative Group has block-booked the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Machynlleth and arranged a variety of exhibitions, special events and activities to celebrate the cooperative movement. Wales regional secretary Mike Ash-Edwards said: "Wales' identity as a strong and distinct cooperative nation is growing. The co-operative movement has never been stronger or more needed, and we invite our members and businesses colleagues to join us for what should be a wonderful day.

"ICD is a key date in the calendar for everyone involved with the cooperative and we are working hard to make this year's event a really enjoyable and informative day."

International Co-operative Day celebrates the work of the global co-operative movement in a fun and family-friendly environment. The formal declaration and keynote speeches to officially mark ICD will be complemented by many activities designed to educate and entertain. The celebrations will also have a distinct Welsh flavour as The Co-operative Group marks its 150th anniversary of trading in Wales.

The Centre for Alternative Co-Technology (CAT) is a world-renowned research institute in the field of sustainability and climate change, and has developed into a popular tourist attraction in its own right. Located in southern Snowdonia and surrounded by spectacular scenery, CAT is an exceptional venue, with first- class facilities and delicious food. CAT has recently undergone an extensive building project to create the new Wales Institute for Sustainable Education. ICD will be one of the first opportunities to experience the new institute.

In particular, ICD is a day for families - CAT is a hands-on and exciting place for young people to learn and have fun in a safe environment. There is plenty to see and do for all the family around the CAT site including the steepest cliff railway in the world and an eco adventure playground.

As part of ICD there will also be a variety of children's activities in the Straw Bale Theatre including StreetDance workshops, building a mini-eco house from junk, making a musical instrument out of wood, an Oxfam/FIFA goal-scoring challenge, and face painting.

In addition to the traditional ICD declaration and messages of support from prominent figures from the co-operative movement, we will focus on the issue of climate change with contributions from Oxfam Cymru and hear of CAT's new Zero Carbon Britain policy.

One of the key elements will be the premiere of the film, spOILt, made by pupils at Ysgol Bro Ddyfi in Machynlleth, and commissioned by The Co-operative Group in Wales. ICD will see the first public screening of this short film highlighting the issue of Tar Sands oil extraction in Canada and its impact on global climate change.

The Co-operative Group's Food Roadshow will be at CAT on July 3, when renowned chef Mark Earnden will be holding very entertaining yet informative and practical cooking demonstrations that will excite and challenge our knowledge on making the most of the food we have. There will also be practical and informative talks on the issues around food preparation including Food Footprints, which investigates the wider issues behind our food, from farm to fork, and also look at zero-carbon diets.

The Co-operative Group is going from strength to strength in Wales and it has never been a better time to be a member of the country's largest ethical business.

Whilst its food, pharmacy, travel and funerals divisions are significant operations in their own right, when combined as The Co-operative Group it is one of the biggest businesses in Wales, with 357 stores and a turnover of pounds 400m. In addition, the bank (following the merger with Britannia) now has 16 branches in Wales. Last year the group generated record levels of business and hopes are high for another successful year in 2010.

The growth of the business across Wales has also led to a growth in Co-operative members. At 344,000, its members represent approximately 12% of the Welsh population and the number of members are growing on daily basis. As one of the largest membership organisations in Wales we have the ability to raise important issues with the National Assembly and local government and the strength to highlight the Group's values and principles to Civic Society in Wales.

What's the deal? Vouchers for free entry on the day are available to members, staff and partners of the Co-operative and subsidised transport is available from certain locations. Both are subject to demand and interest is expected to be high.

For further information and to order your vouchers call 01495 236050 or email


A fun day of informative events and family entertainment is promised at International Co-operative Day
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 16, 2010
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