Barbadians and visitors alike are being urged to come out and experience the new Co-op Mart every Saturday in this month, and until January 12, 2019.
The initiative is the brainchild of the Co-operatives Development Planning Committee, in collaboration with the Co-operatives Department of the Ministry of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, as it aims to heighten awareness about the role of co-operatives in the marketplace.
It starts on Saturday, December 8, at the Barbados Transport Cooperative Society Limited at Durants, Christ Church, and runs from 8.00 a.m. until 4.00 pm. Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, will deliver remarks at noon.
A number of co-operatives and potential co-operatives are expected to exhibit their goods and services at the month-long Co-op Mart. Among these will be the soon to be registered co-operative Emerging Brands Co-operative Society Limited, which will display drinks, craft, jewellery, plants, vegetables, syrups, teas, vinaigrettes and food, and the Women Entrepreneurs Co-operative Society Limited.
Acting Registrar at the Co-operatives Department and Friendly Societies, Brent Gittens, in explaining the rationale for the Co-Op Mart, said: “This initiative is aimed at creating a market where members of co-operatives would be given an opportunity to access a wider market share for their products and services, thus increasing their revenue intake and also bring about a higher awareness of co-operatives in Barbadian society.
“We’re asking the public to come out and see what co-operatives are all about; what they do or make and understand that they are entrepreneurs that have pooled their resources together rather than going at it alone as individuals,” Mr. Gittens said.