600 words approx. 3 minutes to read.

Happy New Year, I hope 2019 is off to a great start for you all.

2018 was a busy and progressive year for both the Co-op and the National Members’ Council – ending on a high at our December Council meeting, where the Members’ Council unanimously voted for ‘Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities’ to be the Co-op’s next campaign.

We were delighted with this result, as the work around this campaign has been a key priority for Council throughout 2018 – one that we’ve all been keen to hear updates on and add input to on behalf of colleagues and our communities.

The campaign will see Co-op leading the fight against retail crime and violence in 2019, by investing in strong partnerships across the retail sector and lobbying in government to ultimately keep shop workers and their communities safe. While we’re hoping our campaign makes a difference to the way all retail businesses protect their employees and customers, we’ve also been investing a lot into the welfare of our own colleagues to set the standard, prevent serious incidents, and offer better support to people in our stores.

Find out more from Council Members Jan Barnett and Sam Webster below.

2018 highlights

Seeing the passion everyone shares for securing a safer future for retail colleagues and communities has definitely been a highlight for 2018, but it’s just one of the achievements the Council, Co-op and you, as a member, can be proud of.

Banning single-use plastic bags in over 1,000 Co-op stores, investing over £160m in our Food business, and awarding £1.6m to tackling youth loneliness from our charity, the Co-op Foundation, are just some of the exciting things we’ve done as part of building a Co-op that cares about everyone’s future as much as its own.

For Council in particular, it’s been brilliant to input into the Future of Food ambition through our Ethical and Sustainable Leadership committee. Council members have ensured that Co-op Members concerns have been considered and this has helped shape the work that will take place between now and 2030 around responsible sourcing, fair business and education.

We also hit the road and held 24 – the most to date – successful member events around the UK. Our Join in Live events help Council and Co-op get out into communities to gain valuable feedback and develop stronger connections, helping us to keep members interests at the forefront of what we do for 2019 and beyond.

The year ahead

2019 is already shaping up to be a great year for Council. As part of our role, we need to make sure that people understand what it means to be a co-operative and have the knowledge, support and tools available to follow the co-operative way of living and working themselves if they want to. So with the help of colleagues and members, we’ll be looking into how we can do this in an effective way.

We’re excited to see how the ‘Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities’ campaign develops and the impact that comes from it within the retail industry. We’re also looking forward to seeing how our return to the healthcare sector will disrupt the pharmacy market, and it will be good to explore other opportunities with our Ventures team too.

Keep up-to-date with us using #CoopNMC on Twitter. You can also find out more about us and the role we play at the Co-op by reading our newsletters on our website. Feel free to get in touch with your local representatives if you want to know more about getting involved with the Members’ Council and sharing your views as a Co-op Member.

Nick Crofts
President of the National Members’ Council

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