Co-op distribution hub offers sneak peak at how it delivers millions of products in time for Easter

Central England Co-op colleagues have been working around the clock to ensure shelves are stocked full of chocolate treats in time for Easter.

The team at the Society’s Food Distribution Centre, in Leicester, have been hard at work since Christmas Eve to make sure that shoppers can enjoy their favourite treats ranging from hot cross buns to all different sizes of chocolate eggs.

In the run up to Easter, the team helped shift a whopping quarter of million Easter eggs to hundreds of stores alongside 325,000 bags of Cadbury Mini Eggs and over 400,000 Cadbury Crème Eggs.

These products now sit alongside dozens of others including dozens of Fairtrade Easter products from specialist wine to cakes and chocolate.

Customers will also be tucking-in to around 300,000 hot cross buns as part of the Easter festivities.

Robin Farrell, Head of Distribution and Logistics at Central England Co-operative, said: “Easter is always a busy time for us in distribution, but many people will not know that our planning starts all the way back to Christmas Eve.

“Since then our hard working and dedicated team have been working non-stop to ensure that our customers are able to enjoy all of their favourite treats this Easter when they visit one of our stores.”

Over 300 workers help supply over 200 stores across 16 counties from the Society’s Food Distribution Centre, which is spread over 120,000 sq ft and is the equivalent size of six Olympic swimming pools.

The Society’s distribution hub is also home to a 42,000 sq ft Chilled Distribution Centre which supplies everything from turkeys and pork pies to double cream and fruit.

This Easter Central England Co-op is running a special Easter Foodbank Appeal to help people in need.

Customers and members are being urged to drop off one or more items – ranging from food to toiletries - into store foodbanks from 19 March to 2 April.

The items will then be collected up, turned into parcels with enough food to create meals for three days and distributed to help people in need.

 A full list of the stores taking part in the appeal can be found by visiting

Notes to editors

Photo caption: Colleagues at Central England Co-operative’s Food Distribution Centre operation in Leicester work hard to ensure customers get everything they need in the run up to Easter.

Sidebar: Here is a list of facts related to Central England Co-operative’s distribution hub:

  • The FDC is 120,000sq ft or the equivalent of six Olympic size swimming pools
  • Over 200 Central England Co-op stores, as well as other co-operatives, receive deliveries from the FDC and CDC
  • Over 30 million cases of products were delivered to stores and onto shelves last year
  • A total of 51 vehicles cover 2.7 million miles every single year
  • 345 tonnes of cardboard are processed at the site every single month
  • Every year the Society recycles 3.5 million green food trays
  • The Society’s distribution hub operates 24 hours a day, 364 days a year
  • On average, the distribution hub shifts close to 150,000 tubs of chocolates at Christmas
  • In the CDC, the summer months will see workers pick through 42,000 pork pies, 135,000 punnets of strawberries and 320,000 bags of salad


About Central England Co-operative


Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 


It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, and property investment.


Central England Co-operative has over 400 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.  The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2018.


Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.


Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing or visiting


For more information visit, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook:


Rob Smyth / Heather Clapton at Central England Co-operative on 01543 414140


Email –