Co-op report highlights key milestones in supporting local communities during the past five years

Central England Co-operative today releases its Corporate Responsibility Report 2014-2019 showcasing its work to promote co-operative values through responsible business.

This comprehensive review looks back over the past five years and highlights key milestones in four areas - community, environment, marketplace and workplace.

Areas of note include the rollout of a pioneering food redistribution scheme to 230 Food Stores that has cut waste by 40% and resulted in hundreds of charities handing out over one million meals to people in need.

Other milestones include 300 defibrillators being placed at Food Stores and Funeral Homes thanks to the 5p carrier bag levy and over 90% of stores now hosting a food bank collection point for a local provider.

Additional Corporate Responsibility highlights include:

  • Colleagues and customers having raised over £2 million for corporate charities – Dementia UK and Newlife
  • Over 17,000 schoolchildren attending a healthy choices workshop – which encourage children to think about what makes a healthy balanced diet and to make good healthy choices - over the last five years
  • Over 250,000 items being donated in total during 2018 thanks to food bank campaigns
  • Five hundred special education needs and vulnerable young people supported through pioneering SENse to Aspire scheme
  • Carbon footprint being reduced by 48% by adding doors to chillers  and changing lighting to LED in stores and changes to funeral and distribution network reducing road miles and increasing fuel efficiency
  • Closely working with colleagues to create 100 mental health champions and roll out mandatory training for line managers
  • Funeral teams introducing Forget Me Not bereavement groups across 40 locations

Hannah Gallimore, Corporate Responsibility Manager, said: “As a Co-operative, our community focus and ethical credentials mean we are brilliantly placed to do the right thing as a responsible business.

“With the help of Business in the Community we developed a strategy which is integral to our trading objectives, in line with our co-operative values and principles and focuses on delivery to our members and communities while demonstrating deep concern for the environment.

“As we move to the next phase, we will continue the good work of the last five years, focusing on relevance of sustainability to our organisation.

“We have also been consulting with members, customers, colleagues, independent organisations and industry specialists to decide our future corporate responsibility strategy.

“We aim to invest in sustainability in the widest sense while continuing to grow our thriving business.”                                                            

The success of the Society’s Corporate Responsibility strategy has seen it recognised with a five star rating by Business in the Community in 2018.

The Society was also the first co-operative of its type to undertake a Social Return on Investment report to analyse the impact of community programmes and investment. The findings showed that, during 2017 and 2018, the investment delivered a total social value of £10 million.

More details on the Society’s Corporate Responsibility Report can be found online at


Notes to editors


Picture caption: Corporate Responsibility Manager Hannah Gallimore.

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, travel shops, 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 2019.


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 member 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 and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 421390


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