News release issued by Co-operative Development Scotland
Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) has today [Tuesday 2 October] unveiled the three winners of its inaugural £30,000 Collaboration Prize.
First Minister Alex Salmond launched the new prize at an event in Edinburgh Castle in March 2012. The three winning concepts each receive a cash prize of £5,000 and up to £5,000 of support.
The aim is to encourage businesses to consider collaboration and pitch their idea for a new consortium co-operative. The three winners are: Annanwater Organics, Music Co-operative Scotland and Screen Facilities Scotland:
Annanwater Organics was founded by three farmers from Dumfries and Galloway to enable them to market and sell more effectively their home-reared meats. It sells high quality produce that includes organic blackface mutton, pedigree Highland Cattle and pedigree Saddleback pigs. Annanwater Organics will offer directly to consumers, retailers and restaurants their unique charcuterie range - as a streamlined single business entity
Music Co-operative Scotland brings together the members of the Orchestra of Scottish Opera in an artistic collaboration to explore new markets for classical music at home and overseas. The new venture will build on the already strong international reputation of the orchestra, creating more flexible opportunities for contracting and performing as ensembles.
Screen Facilities Scotland is a collaboration of Scottish-based film, television and commercials facilities companies, each independently owned, that will now compete for work as a single and flexible entity on national and international media projects. Screen Facilities Scotland has the potential to increase core business, strengthen company reputations and secure jobs and growth for the Scottish film, television and commercials production sector.
Sarah Deas, chief executive of Co-operative Development Scotland, said: "We were delighted with the high number of quality entries. There is clearly a real appetite from businesses to pool their expertise and work together.
"Collaboration brings tangible benefits to business. It enables firms to become more competitive and grow their markets, which in turn delivers a boost for the Scottish economy."
"Congratulations go to our three worthy winners who are drawn from sectors as diverse as food and the arts. We wish them well on their journey towards forming a consortium co-operative."
Katie Hull, a violinist with the orchestra for Scottish Opera and one of the five founders of Music Co-operative Scotland, said: "Forming a consortium co-operative is the ideal next step for us as musicians as it gives people a one stop shop for our services.
"Like a good team an orchestra is more than the sum of its parts. Music Co-operative Scotland gives our musicians the ideal platform to play to their strengths."
Evidence from across Europe shows collaboration increases productivity.
There are 578 co-operative businesses in Scotland with a combined turnover of more than £4bn and employing 28,600 people.
For more information see: www.cdscotland.co.uk.