Big Fag visits Calverts

  [Sion from Calverts shows us one of their early hand-painted trade signs – apparently it was called “north star” because that was the name of the pub where they had their first meeting!]

[Sion from Calverts shows us one of their early hand-painted trade signs – apparently it was called “north star” because that was the name of the pub where they had their first meeting!]

In July, Lucas from Big Fag visited Calverts Printing Co-operative in London.

We’re always keen to link up with other printing groups – especially those who are:

(a). socially responsible and politically progressive;
and
(b). better at printing than we are.

Calvert’s has been in business for more than 30 years, amazingly running as a co-operative the entire time. The Co-op has about a dozen employees, all of whom receive exactly the same salary regardless of whether they are in marketing, accounts, prepress or at the coalface of their big multi-colour Heidelberg.

Everyone in the co-op has an equal say in how things run, and everyone shares responsibility for the success or failure of the co-op.

It’s a pretty inspiring thing to see a co-operative being able to operate so professionally (go have a look at their website and see the really beautifulthings they make).

But more than that, to see that organisational structure at the heart of the operation is a reminder of the fact that to be economically successful, you don’t have to have a top-down corporate structure.

Thanks to Cath at Footprint Workers Co-op in Leeds for taking me along on the field trip to Calverts – and to Sion for showing me around!

Eloise Lindeback