November 15, 2021

Co-op Members Join In Live

Co-op Members Join in Live to Co-operate for a fairer world

Hundreds of Co-op Members took to their virtual seats as we hosted our Join In Live events online for the second successive year, making it easier than ever for our members to get involved and have their say on all things Co-op. 

Hosted by our Co-op National Members’ Council, the four online events held in October, gave members the chance to hear more about the different ways that we’re bringing to life our vision of co-operating for a fairer world.

As well as a business performance update, members asked questions directly to members of our Co-op Board and executive team on the issues that matter to them during a live Q&A session. 

“It was really interesting to be able to speak to people running the business and hear what they had to say directly, and for them to be able to answer our questions.”

V Prendergast, Aberdeenshire

“The range and breadth of topics discussed and the ability for members to hear why decisions were made – and also to get a supplementary question in – was good.”

D Williams, Hampshire

Co-operating for a fairer planet

Throughout the past year, members have been working together with us on our vision of Co-operating for a fairer world. They’ve been shaping our AGM motions, championing climate change and campaigns, coming together to support each other’s wellbeing, and learning about how the money they raise through our Co-op Partnership Fund every time they shop with us is used in local communities.

So, during our Join In Live sessions, members worked together in smaller breakout workshops where they were able to chat with Members’ Council representatives and Member Pioneers about some of these issues. 

Our ethics team explained all about our climate and sustainability agenda, and members heard more about our 10-point climate change commitments and shared their thoughts on how they could help support and champion it.

Making things fairer for our members and colleagues

Following a challenging 18 months there was also a discussion around bringing communities together to support mental wellbeing. Members heard about our bereavement groups and shared their ideas on what support Co-op could offer them to help their friends and family through mental health issues and bereavement.

Members’ ideas and feedback from the workshops is now helping to shape our future plans. Members worked together to help us create a new resource pack to support members, their families and friends in their communities, so look out in early 2022 to see that pack come to life.

“It was great to share my ideas. And to feel part of the Co-op community. I never knew this kind of thing happened!”

T Sample, Nottingham

Co-operating for fairer access to food

Our Delicious Food team treated members to a live cookery demonstration at the end of each event, where they worked with our Communities team to cook up some simple and affordable recipes which highlighted Co-op’s in-store community fridge partnership with Hubbub.

The funds members generate every time they shop with us has funded a new £500,000 partnership with the environmental charity to fast-track the expansion of their Community Fridge Network across the UK.

Together, we’ve created more places where communities can share and access healthy food, connect with each other, learn new skills, and become more resilient to challenges that are thrown at them.

We’ve launched 50 fridges so far, and a further 50 are expected by the end of the year. By 2022, this will expand to more than 250 – saving 6.8 million meals per year from going to waste.

“Informative and good tips. Also, the recipe used up food so avoided waste, which I think is important.”

T Dumper, Heathfield

Overall, we’ve had great feedback from Co-op Members who attended our Join In Live events. They found the sustainability and climate change workshop particularly informative and welcomed the opportunity to ask questions during the business performance update on lots of different Co-op topics. They also enjoyed sharing their ideas as we looked at ways to support mental health and wellbeing too.

“Very warm and welcoming atmosphere on the call. Very informative on serious issues facing today’s society.”

A Masson, Aberdeen

“A good mixture of business performance, participatory breakout sessions and cooking demo.”

C Kelly, Warrington

“This event was excellent and full of very interesting and informative information. The presenters did a brilliant job of getting all that information over to us. I personally learnt a lot from the session.”

D Collier, Leicestershire

While it’s great that our Join in Local events are taking place ln local communities across the UK, these online sessions have given even more of our members the flexibility and opportunity to have a say in their Co-op, which is very important to us.

Members told us that they’d like to discuss topics such as plastics, recycling and food waste, healthy and affordable food, sustainable sourcing, and community support, so we’ll be looking to see how we can incorporate some of those in future sessions too.

Two lucky Co-op Members also won £50 on their membership cards just for joining in with our Join In Live sessions.

“It was fabulous to win a prize. I really enjoyed the event and was thrilled to join in alongside other Co-op Members. I will be sure to join in with future forums and events. There’s some great work going on at Co-op.”

J Caswell, Ardingly

If you’re a member who would like to get more involved in your Co-op, head to your member account to join in. 

Simon Plunkett

Democratic Projects Manager

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. I always found the meals from the coop excellent but last week I had the most awful meal which was labelled Corn Beef Hash.
    Whatever chef thought up this recipe should be sacked.
    Corn beef hash is corned beef, mashed potatoes, boiled cabbage
    The coop one was corned beef and a few pieces of diced potatoes which tasted vile

  2. As a rival company now sells milk in glass bottles does my coop have any plans to cut out plastic bottles? Bottles could be returned to the empty crates. Same for all fruit juices would be good.

  3. Hope the co-op can seriously reduce its use of plastic going forward. Come on do your bit for climate change! Thank you

  4. Dear Coop. You need to act on removing palm oil from very many of your products. And now there is scientific evidence that palmitic acid is implicated in metastasis of cancer. So for the sake of our health, and for the sake of our planet, please make a plan to remove palm oil from your products. Palm oil production is directly responsible for deforestation in Indonesia and West Africa, and “sustainable palm” does not help. Thank you.

  5. always shopped at my local store till i had a problem with my last purchase whereby i was overcharged on my credit card by £115 with no resolution in the store i let my bank deal with it so i will never shop there again


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