Shopping fest to spread co-operative awareness

DUBAI -Mattar Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, inaugurated on Wednesday the 8th Co-ops Shopping Festival 2003 at the Emirates Co-operative Society here.

By Sanaa Maadad

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Published: Fri 2 May 2003, 1:10 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 10:58 PM

The festival is an annual event organised by the Consumer Cooperative Union in cooperation with the Co-operative Associations Department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. "The purpose of holding this festival every year is to spread awareness about the co-operative movement in the country, in addition to protecting the consumer from market price inflation and from low standard products. It also seeks to expose consumers to various quality products under one roof and to highlight the services of the cooperatives in order to build trust with consumers," said Dr Suleiman Moosa Al Jassim, Chairman of the UAE Consumer Co-operative Union.

He said that the co-operatives are social organisations that are required to enhance the standard of their services "if they want to stand the tough competition in the open market," he said. Dr Jassim pointed to the success of the annual event in boosting the sales of co-op products at the co-operative societies which achieved 200 per cent increase in sales last year compared to the first festival. Dr Jassim expressed the hope that the sales would jump this year to 300 per cent.

As part of the festival the prices of some items and products had been reduced between 2 and 20 per cent, in addition to the promotional gifts with some products and other promotion campaigns.

According to Chairman of the Co-op Union, the prices of co-op products which are of very good quality in the co-op societies, are between 30 to 40 per cent less than similar items in the market, stressing that these products are of very high quality.

Explaining about the products bearing the logo of Co-op, Dr Jassim said: "These items were selected carefully according to their significance to consumer. We made sure that suppliers of such items are well-reputed in the international market, besides the fact that all the co-op products are tested to ensure their fitness for human consumption before they are launched in the market and even after being placed on the shelves."

He promised that the co-opratives would continue to provide the best quality items at low prices, in addition to encouraging the local, regional and Arab food industries.

He disclosed that new branches of co-operatives will be open to spread the cooperative concept and reach all areas of the UAE in addition to enabling such societies to fight the increase in prices and maintain a good living standard for the citizens and residents of the country.

Dr Jassim pointed to the support of the President, His Highness Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and His Highness Shaikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Their Highnesses Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of Emirates.

He attributed the growth of the co-operative movement to that support pointing to the fact that the UAE has now 20 co-operative societies which has 61 branches "which means that we have 81 cooperative markets which will increase to 86 with the opening of five new co-op branches including three in Sharjah, one Union Co-op and one in Delma by the end of this year," he said adding that those co-operatives will only serve 28 per cent of the population.

Dr Jassim spoke about the co-ops' performance last year saying that their sales touched around Dh1.98 billion, while their capital was Dh337 million and the number of shareholders 23,221. He said that these co-ops were involved in charity works and contributed around Dh 38 million in the last 18 years.

Mr Tayer, along with Dr Jassim and a number of officials from the ministry toured the Emirates Co-op and looked at the promotions and sales of the festival which will continue until May 20.

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