As discussed in the previous two chapters, the co-operative movement often described itself as ‘the watchdog for the consumer’.1 Another objective of cooperative economic organisation has concerned self-employment, defined as the ‘provision of regular employment under good conditions of labour’.2 In the nineteenth century, representation of the consumer was not the only objective of the Rochdale Pioneers. They were also ‘intent on becoming producers’ and saw ‘a chance of pooling shopkeeping to accumulate savings, in order to purchase land for the provision of employment for jobless men’.3