24 June 2013Review

New Internationalist Publications, 2012; 72pp; £5.99

When a small group of weavers, colliers, woolsorters and cloggers opened a shop in north of England on 21 December 1844, Gabriel Carlyle writes, they can hardly have imagined the massive global impact their enterprise would ultimately have.

Though not the first consumer co-operative (Scotland’s Fenwick Weavers established an enterprise for the bulk purchasing of food in 1769), their far-sighted principles – which included not only a commitment to selling unadulterated food, but…