I've long been a fan of the coop movement. It just makes sense for those who use a business, to own the business. In the social enterprise world we're seeing a growing number of public sector teams spinning out to create employee owned mutuals. It's an antidote to staff exploitation.

As a Quaker, I've also been reflecting on the fate of some of the well known Quaker companies. Many, such as Cadbury, Frys, Lloyds and Barclays have lost their independence and the values that underpinned their early success.

Would they have survived intact if they become coops instead of incorporating in the 19th century I wondered. I got thinking, talked to a few people and wrote this piece for Coop News.