We want to help retail co-ops to cooperate with each other in two ways:
First, separate co-ops creating identical software wastes a lot of money. Let's create a co-op advantage by using the same software and enable co-ops big and small to compete with the corporate Goliaths.
Second, co-ops should buy their software from other co-ops. This would accelerate the rapidly growing tech co-op movement.
VME Co-op is the leading provider of software to retail co-ops in the UK. This is the largest example in the world of retail co-ops buying their software from a tech co-op.
We are ourselves a co-op owned by our employees. Research confirms what common sense tells us - when employees have a say and stake in a company, it increases productivity.
We reinvest our profit into building new technology to grow the co-op movement - ultimately to achieve our aim of putting a co-op into every community in the world.
VME sells to lots of non co-operative grocery retailers.
Some believe in our principles, and enjoy doing business with a company who exists for their benefit.
Others chose VME because we are now well on our way to become the largest supplier for Grocery epos, thanks to the critical mass working with the co-operative sector gives us.
We in the co-op movement should not try to keep up with the technology of our capitalist competitors - we should exceed them.
If we don't do this, co-ops might have no future.
If we do this, the future of technology lies in co-ops.
We believe we will do this, and it will become the most profound transformation of the digital economy in our times.