Co-op Member Pioneer pouring coffee for a community group
October 8, 2019

Buy Social for a better world

Co-op Membership has changed

Since the publication of this article Co-op membership has changed – we are giving even more back to your community. Every time you buy selected Co-op branded products and services money goes to you and your community too. Find out more about Co-op Membership or download the app now.

500 words approx. 3-4 minutes to read.

If you’ve shopped at Co-op before, you will know that fairness and support for local communities is at the heart of our business. From working to reduce food waste and improving children’s lives in the UK, to funding water, sanitation and hygiene programmes in Africa, we genuinely care about the world we share – it’s what we do.

You might have come across the name Social Saturday or seen the #BuySocial hashtag on social media recently. They’re both part of a week-long campaign, called Buy Social for a Better World, run by Social Enterprise UK, in partnership with our Co-op. The campaign is about celebrating and increasing support for social enterprises – businesses that trade for a social or environmental purpose.

At Co-op, we do business differently. Just by shopping with us, it’s easy to support fantastic initiatives like Fairtrade, the Co-op Local Community Fund, Co-op Member Pioneers and Co-op Academies.

Co-op Membership has changed

How you can get involved

One of the things that makes us different as a business is the fact that we’re owned by our members, not by big investors. This means that, as a Co-op Member, you get to have a say in how we’re run. It also means that, every time you buy Co-op branded products in store, 5%* of your spend goes back into your membership account, and a further 1%* goes to local causes in your community. The best part is that you can choose which cause your own 1% goes to.

While we’re super-proud of our support for social and environmental initiatives, we’re not the only business doing this – far from it. There are around 470,000 social enterprises doing amazing work out there, a number of which we stock in our stores, such as, Brewgooder Lager, who aim to provide clean water for 1M people by donating 100% of their profits to clean water charities. Toast ale also donate their profits to charity to help fix the food system. And BeCo Hand Soap’s products create jobs for people in the UK who are visually impaired, disabled or disadvantaged.

A number of Co-op Members have been trying out some of these products and sharing their product reviews with us – read what they thought and how you can get involved in future opportunities like this here.  

So tell your friends, get out and #BuySocial for a better world.

Ed Powell
Partnerships Manager

Read more on how we’re building stronger communities at our Co-op;

* Members earn 5% + 1% when they buy selected Co-op branded products and services from selected Co-op Group businesses. 1% goes to local causes. Not available in independent societies including Midcounties, Central England, Southern or Chelmsford Star co-operatives or in non-Co-op branded stores (such as Nisa or Costcutter). Exclusions and restrictions apply. See Membership terms and conditions at

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Thanks for this – I’d not previously known about BeCo soap products and would like to try the soap and shampoo bars, is there a way to find out in which Co-op stores they are available? I’m concerned about the plastic bottles of soap and wondering how the following claim on their website can be true “250ml of ready-to-squeeze foam, that not only saves you 88 litres of water but saves a whole lot of plastic too.”

    On the subject of packaging, I called into Essex Road Co-op on my cycle home from work last night and was disappointed that there were no loose apples available, only those prepackaged in a plastic bag. This is not necessary for maintaining freshness, just wasteful pollution that is adding to climate change, so I bought apples elsewhere and ask that all Co-op stores sell unpackaged apples – on a weekend away I bought some very tasty loose British apples from the Eastbourne Co-op.

  2. It matters not what good causes are being served by this project if the provenance of food produced is being withheld. Lets take Religious Slaughtered (Halal/Kosher compliant) Slaughtered Meats/Poultry for example. If the Co-op coalition are not willing to inform ALL consumers as to whether these meats have been subject of Religious Slaughter at the point of slaughter because they hide behind legislation (or lack of Legislation) to enforce such labelling, you can’t be trusted. It can be done voluntarily but you don’t want to be the only one’s. It is not helped when Government Ministers recently announced they have no plans to label Religious Slaughtered Meat/Poultry accordingly therefore allowing such meats to be sold to non-Muslim/non-Jews without their knowledge and therefore by deceit.
    The UK meat industry is undergoing a massive trust issue and that is increasing day by day with many changing eating habits and becomeing Vegetarian/Vegan because of the lack of trust. It needs a business to make the effort and show strength with labelling by setting the standard rather than following one. Market trust has to be earned not demanded or coaxed with false promises while hiding behind legislative regulations as an excuse not to do anything about it.
    Why not conduct a survey of your consumers and find of what they want on this issue then you will know what they want and supply those needs to all consumers?
    What are you afraid of?


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