Central England Co-op shortlisted for Leading Co-operative of the Year 2021 award

Posted by rob smyth | Published: 21/04/2021

Central England Co-operative is in the running to be named Leading Co-operative of the Year 2021 – and now members and customers are being urged to make sure they vote. 

The Society, which is one of the UK’s largest independent co-ops, is set to battle it out with two others to try and win the top accolade in the prestigious Co-operative of the Year Awards 2021.

Central England Co-op was shortlisted for its work in several areas, including:

  • Protecting and supporting its colleagues and communities during the pandemic by investing heavily to make its sites Covid-19 secure, rolling out market-leading solutions to help those impacted via eco-friendly home delivery and phone or email funeral arrangements, and rewarding frontline workers with extra pay.
  • Outlining ambitious plans to be carbon neutral by 2030, ahead of most other supermarkets, and being the only food retailer to achieve the Carbon Trust triple standard three years in a row.
  • Seeing its work with FareShare Midlands and food banks over the past seven years driving enough food donations to create over 2.1 million meals per year.
  • Handing out Community Dividend grants worth £175,000 to 116 groups and seeing its fund-raising effort for its corporate charity Dementia UK top £1.5 million.

Central England Co-op Chief Executive Debbie Robinson said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted in the category of Leading Co-operative of the Year at the Co-operative of the Year Awards 2021. After an extraordinary year, this is fantastic recognition for our amazing colleagues who have kept communities fed and have shown care and compassion to families in their time of need during the most challenging of circumstances. We will continue to find ways to progress as a Society in a progressive, relevant and inclusive manner in line with our co-operative values and principles, and our Society Purpose – ‘Creating a sustainable Society for all’. We would be absolutely thrilled to win this award and hope that our members and supporters will vote for us!”

The winners will be presented with their awards in July as part of a special online ceremony.

The Co-operative of the Year Awards 2019 are organised by Co-operatives UK – the network for Britain’s thousands of co-operative businesses.

Rose Marley, Chief Executive of Co-operatives UK said, “As we start to rebuild our economy after over a year of restrictions, these awards shine a spotlight on values-based businesses like Central England Co-op and the vital contribution they make to both the local economy and community. Please show your support by casting your vote online, it only takes a moment and makes a real difference to a local independent business!

"Co-ops like Central England Co-op are built on a set of principles which have evolved since a group of working class men founded the first successful co-op 175 years ago, which was replicated throughout the world. They include concern for the community – we saw plenty of that during the lockdowns – and now communities have the opportunity to support co-operation."

The deadline for voting is midnight on June 1 and people can vote by visiting www.uk.coop/vote


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About Central England Co-operative


Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.


Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its over 7,800 colleagues serve customers across 400 plus trading sites in 16 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.


Its purpose is to inspire communities to create a sustainable Society for all.


It actively campaigns for the Government to increase sentencing for violent attacks on retail workers and works with FareShare Midlands and hundreds of food banks, generating enough food donations to create over 2.1 million meals for people in need.


The Society embraces inclusivity and equality and is a signed-up member to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter, while it is also fully committed to addressing the impact of climate change and is on track to be Carbon Neutral by 2030.  


It invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities through its Community Dividend Fund scheme which has seen over £175,000 shared out between 116 good causes over the past 12 months.


Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle


Phone - 01543 421390


Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop