Nick Crofts, The Co-op Member Council President, shares his thoughts.

This has been a full-on quarter for the Co-op which ended fittingly with the launch of our research report into the triggers for loneliness.  I was privileged to present how we’re going to help tackle this important issue as an organisation.

I was also delighted to represent our Co-op at the International Summit of Co-operativespicture1in Quebec – the world’s leading event for business development in the co-operative and mutual community. Delegates were made up of decision-makers and leaders from co-ops and mutual enterprises of all size and in all sectors. The focus was on current and future economic and financial issues. The clear message from the sessions I attended was that co-operatives are one answer to the major socioeconomic issues of our times. One clear call out is the digital revolution taking place in retail and wholesale co-ops – this provided me with the reassurance that our Co-op is doing the right thing developing our digital approach.

picture2I will also be hosting the Business Council for Co-operatives and Mutuals of Australia
when they pay a visit to the home of co-operation in the week ahead of Christmas

November Council Meeting

This was a two-day affair with a packed agenda.Richard Pennycook joined us to outline how the Council will be involved in planning our strategy for Renewal. I feel this is where the Council can really come to the fore in guiding the business at such a vital time.

Rod Bulmer and Mark Summerfield updated us on the progress of the new Insurance platform and outlined plans on how insurance will be championing changes to practices that penalise consumers in the marketplace – true co-operation in action.

An update was also provided on the development of the community framework and how the growth in Member Pioneers will build engagement both in physical locations and online.

Building co-operation with co-ops in the UK

Allan Leighton, Chair of Co-op Group and I had the honour of jointly hosting a gathering of chief executives and presidents from societies across the UK. To me, it’s fantastic when our movement comes together and we help each other, share ideas and develop our understanding of each other’s societies – it’s what co-operation is about.

Wilmslow store opening

It was a pleasure to be at the opening of the newly refurbished Water Lanestore picture3in Wilmslow in November which was attended by soccer legend Mike Summerbee who I signed up as a member. Welcome to the Co-op Mike!

Tackling loneliness – ‘Trapped in a bubble’ report launch

This month we published the research we commissioned with our campaign partners, British Red Cross, into the triggers for loneliness. At the launch event thepicture4 findings of the report were presented to an audience of 180 people drawn from the voluntary, private sectors along with representatives from government agencies. At the event I set out the Co-op’s business response to the report which you can read here. This has firmly planted us on the campaigning trail and the phenomenal media response shows our members chose well when they selected this cause for us to champion.

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. Hi,
    Planning for the proposed store in Galleywood was refused by planning committee on Tuesday.

    The community would now like to see the CO-OP walk away from the proposed development and not push for appeal, this would be the ethical thing to do.

    I understand that no all pubs are truly viable for many reasons, but our pub the Eagle is and without the garden which is well used by the community ( I have a whole year of picture evidence) long term viability which was one of the reasons for refusal by the planning committee will be affected. Please cut your ties with Hawthorn Leisure this partnership is doing the CO-OP so much harm and not just in our community.

    Come to the Eagle and ask the customers what the pub means to them, I’ve asked this question and answers given are sometimes sad especially from the elderly of the village.
    This is why I don’t understand the CO-OP partnership with the Red Cross tackling loneliness, in our situation you will defiantly be causing loneliness.

    You have my E Mail address if you require further information

  2. The Co Op’s acquisitions of many pubs across the country to be turned into stores is actually causing loneliness in communities. And these acquisitions are just lining the pockets of asset stripping pub companies who will tell you what you want to hear, the pubs not viable, not used by the community. I hope you read the link below and then you will understand what a pub means to its communities and do more research before you develop in the future.


    • Hi Kim, we understand the important of Pubs to some communities, we’re not in the business of shutting down Pubs communities love. So, this is why we’re the only major grocery retailer to work with CAMRA in relation to potential former-Pub acquisitions. Here’s more, ^Jordan

      • Hi, I’m aware of your agreement with CAMRA, and the bad press the co op are getting regarding pubs. But it doesn’t include situation like our pub, taking away all the garden and most of the car park, we’ve been taking pictures of the pub car park 18 spaces,for a year now and have lots of evidence to show the car park with often upto 21 cars in the car park ( double parked) yet the new proposed scheme gives the pub and co op 26 spaces in total, and the prodiction of 900 cars a day from co op customers a day makes the sums not add up, this along with taking away the whole garden which is used regularly even in the winter nativity play raising funds for the church will affect the viability of the pub, not enough parking and no garden for families. 455 objections, full parish and city council meetings, people boycotting the other co op just 4 streets away in the same village, lots of press coverage, discussed in Westminster select committee and yet the co op still go ahead, this is not very ethnical and is certainly giving the co op a bad name.


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