India’s Amul milk brand is the world’s largest milk cooperative company in the world.

In 1946, the Amul Cooperative was created as a reaction to the exploitation of local milk producers by the dealers and the agents of the main dairy of that time, the Polson dairy. The government had given monopolistic rights to Polson to collect milk from Kaira dairy farmers and supply it to the city of Mumbai.

Cooperatives were created for every town, allowing for milk collection to be decentralized, as most of the makers were minor farmers.

Today, Amul Cooperatives are federated at a regional and national level.

Overall, India has a long-standing cooperative movement, which focuses on benefiting all communities involved in its production.

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New Zealand is aiming to adopt a wellbeing economy approach in its economic policy. The Government, for example, presented the world’s first Wellbeing Budget to Parliament on 30 May 2019.

Against that background, Paul Dalziel and Caroline Saunders prepared a Research Briefing in September 2020. It summarises lessons learned in the initial New Zealand experience with the wellbeing economy approach. The authors are the Deputy Director and Director of the Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit at Lincoln University, New Zealand.

You can access the Research Briefing from the Lincoln University archive here.

Today, we’re publishing our latest report, “Business and a Wellbeing Economy: Creating Thriving Businesses and a Thriving Scotland”, in partnership with Scottish Enterprise and Co-operative Development Scotland.

Keep reading to see what Jimmy Paul, Director of WEAll Scotland, had to say about this report, business’s role in a wellbeing economy, and the exciting opportunities ahead of Scotland:

“The Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) was created from a belief in the power of collaboration. This report gave WEAll Scotland the opportunity to work with Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), the arm of Scottish Enterprise that supports employee ownership and co-operative business models. CDS believes these inclusive business models are a fairer, stronger and more democratic way of doing business that helps create a wellbeing economy.

“My biggest drive, both personally and professionally, is to see a world where all people flourish. The Wellbeing Economy Alliance works alongside a beautifully diverse group of organisations to ensure people are at the forefront of change. This is what attracted me to apply for the role of director of WEAll Scotland, earlier this year.

“As I settle into this new role, I look forward to meeting bold businesses who are making strides to realise social justice on a healthy planet. Businesses play a vital role in building a thriving Scotland: a Scotland where all people flourish and which cherishes our natural home.

“The assumptions upon which our current economic system rests no longer hold true. Economic growth cannot be assumed to automatically deliver a decent standard of living for enough people. With scientists warning of the sixth mass extinction and catastrophic climate change, 20th century systems of production and consumption need to be transformed, and we must be impatient for change.

“In the past, greed at an individual level was the predominant motivator shaping economic policies. However, the way communities across Scotland responded to Covid-19 is one of many recent examples of societal cooperation, empathy, and solidarity.

“Back in 1942, William Beveridge wrote that ‘A revolutionary moment in the world’s history is time for revolutions, not for patching’. Covid-19 has clearly presented us with a revolutionary moment. The question is, will we harness it to work together and build an economy that better meets the needs of people and planet than the one we had going into the pandemic? We hope that this partnership will be the first of many more.”

The Linwood Community Development Trust (LCDT) is a £2 million turnover venture group founded by six women with the backing of the local community in Linwood, a town of just over ten thousand people in Scotland. Their vision of a community-led local economy drives their work in galvanising bottom up economic development to improve health and wellbeing, reduce social inequalities, and build social capital.

The LCDT came about in response to private sector-led economic development that excluded residents from much of the promised economic benefits and ignored their voices in decision making. Previously, the small town used to rely on employment in one factory which closed in the 1980s.

Efforts started with online petitions and email campaigns protesting local government actions and were continued with extensive consultations over 2 years with 2500 local residents to inform plans for projects to address issues the community identified as being important.

The Trust successfully stimulated local development in line with what local people said they want and need. Successful initiatives include a community owned village (‘Mossedge’) including an all-weather football pitch, centre, theatre, and café and the Roots of Linwood Grocers, which generate local employment and meet local needs.

This work aligns the outcomes of the economy with what local people value. Linwood’s employee-owned small businesses capture and maintain circulation of funds locally – the surplus of which is reinvested in Linwood.

Along with keeping wealth circulating in the community, the LCDT’s progressive development measures have improved health and sense of community and participation in the town.

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