456 words. Approx 2 minute to read.

What a great start to the year we’ve had. In January we announced that we’re opening 100 new food stores in communities up and down the UK, investing £50m in reducing food prices, and we launched a new travel insurance product too.

We’ve also made great progress in our fight against modern slavery. As well as helping survivors of slavery rebuild their lives, we’re now helping other UK businesses tackle the issue, and this work was featured on the BBC recently.

I was delighted to see that the Government has appointed a Minister with responsibility for tackling loneliness – which comes in the wake of the research we published with our partners British Red Cross just 12 months ago.

nick crofts blog post 1I recently got to meet the next generation of co-operators from our academy schools who were holding their annual Fairtrade conference in Angel Square. It was inspiring to hear the students talk knowledgeably about Fairtrade and the difference it is making.

nick crofts blog post 2

Award Success

I’m pictured here with fellow Council Member Frank Nelson posing with the Edie award for sustainable reporting which was won by our policy and campaigns team for the work done on our Co-op Way Sustainability Report.  It is great too for our Co-op to be back winning awards like this. Congratulations to the Policy and Campaigns team.

January Members’ Council meeting

Our new five year plan was front and centre of our meeting this month, with our Chief Executive, Steve Murrells and Finance Director Ian Ellis, setting out the ambition our Co-op has to meet the needs of our members. The crux of the message is that a stronger Co-op will help us to strengthen the communities we serve.  The plan will see us:

  • get closer to members and customers in our Food business by investing in price and our frontline colleagues
  • making life easier for our members through our Later Life Planning division
  • use our position as the leading funeral provider in the UK to make giving the funeral you want for your loved one more affordable
  • making sure we’ve got the best insurance products for members

You can read more about the Council meeting here in our newsletter. If what we do sounds interesting to you, we’re also on the hunt for candidates to stand for election to our Council. If you’re interested visit co-operative.coop/councilelection to find out more.


This is the first time our Council has met on Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January) and we started our meeting with a moment of silent reflection to remember the victims of the Holocaust. It was a powerful reminder to our generation of the responsibility we have to future generations that we must never stand by and let evil prosper.

Nick Crofts
President of the Members’ Council

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