500 words approx. 3-4 minutes to read.
From Brighton to Belfast, members have been coming together for some food-sampling, Fairtrade pledging and campaign-planning at Co-op Join in Live events across the UK.
As well as putting questions to Board members and Council representatives and hearing how their Co-op is performing, members were able to provide valuable input straight back to Co-op on everything from the next flavour of crisps to be added to our Irresistible range to the pledges that will ensure the success of Fairtrade over the next 25 years.
It’s really important that our members have a say in the Co-op they own, so this was a great opportunity to share more about work that’s happening around our businesses and communities and hear from members about what matters most to them. Council will now use this feedback to help shape our priorities for 2020 and beyond.
Meanwhile, thousands of members were also joining in online to contribute to the same conversations. At each of the events, members watched a short video featuring Sarah Wakefield, Co-op’s Sustainable Sourcing & Fairtrade Manager, who challenged them to make their pledges to ensure the success of Fairtrade over the next 25 years. Here’s a few pledges from our members in Leeds:
“I pledge to support local community groups around my store to understand Fairtrade, how we support it, and what range we have in store to support their pledges.”
“I will only buy Fairtrade roses in the future.”
“Pay more attention to labels and look for Fairtrade more in staples like coffee and sugar.”
Members were also updated on our Endangered Spaces campaign and were asked three questions that were designed to help our Community team better understand members’ motivations and challenges in relation to getting involved in community activity like this campaign, and the kind of support they’d like to see from Co-op going forward.
Members said they’d be most likely to get involved in community projects that were local to them, in which they had a direct interest and where their impact could be clearly seen. In relation to endangered spaces, many members cited local bureaucracy, funding issues and the demands on people’s time as being key blockers to progress.
“If I feel that I can actually make a difference, I am very likely to get involved.”
Members who were unable to make the events did not miss out on their chance to put their questions to Co-op leaders though. As part of our Join in Live online activity, myself and Co-op Chief Executive, Steve Murrells, took part in a live online Q&A, hosted by Della McDonald from our Young Members’ Group. From Brexit plans to our stance on plastics, we tackled a range of topics and got to update on future plans and share how Co-op has been making a difference. Click here to see the video.
I’d like to thank all the members who came along to one of our Join in Live events and those who joined in online. It was great to see so many of our members and communities getting to grips with some of the key issues we’re working on as a business and helping us to think through our next steps. If you’re a member who would like to get more involved in your Co-op, head to your member account to Join In.
President National Members’ Council