Central England Co-op signs Race at Work Charter as part of National Inclusion Week

Posted by rob smyth | Published: 02/10/2020

Central England Co-operative has today revealed it has signed the Race at Work Charter as part of its ongoing efforts to improving opportunities for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) colleagues across the business.

The Society, which has over 400 food stores and funeral homes across 16 counties, took on the pledge as part of National Inclusion Week to reinforce its commitment and take practical steps to tackle barriers faced by BAME colleagues in the workplace.

The charter is an initiative launched by Business in the Community (BITC) and consists of five principles to ensure organisations address the barriers to BAME recruitment and progression:

  • Appointing an Executive Sponsor for race
  • Capturing data and publicising progress
  • Ensuring zero tolerance of harassment and bullying
  • Making equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers
  • Taking action that supports ethnic minority career progression

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-operative Chief Executive, said: “Embracing inclusivity, equality and diversity is of huge importance to Central England Co-operative. Signing up to the Race at Work Charter is one of the first steps that we’ll be taking to demonstrate our commitment to this. We’ve enlisted the help of Peter Johnson from our Business Intelligence team who has provided invaluable help and support so far. We will be working together as a society, with Peter’s continued input, to establish and develop further ways in which we can progress moving forward.”

The Race at Work Charter now has over 450 signatories across a wide spectrum of businesses.

Sandra Kerr CBE, race director at Business in the Community, said “Signing the Race at Work Charter is about more than just trying to be better. It signals the start of a journey as your organisation works towards the Charter’s five clear actions to make your workplace more inclusive. I am delighted that Central England Co-operative has been brave enough to make this commitment and I hope other companies follow their example.”

Notes to editors

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.


Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 


Our 7,900 colleagues who serve Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.


Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 


We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.


We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.


Visit www.centralengland.coop for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood


Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle


Phone - 01543 421390


Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop