In the beginning...
- Since 1844 there have been co-operatives; organisations set up by communities for the good of local people, providing quality produce at fair prices.
- The Society launched its first store in 1853 and there's been no stopping us since, but no matter how we grow our values of Democracy, Openness, Equality and Social Responsibility remain the same.
- We're proud of our heritage, independence and our local roots - those are things that will never change. Hear what our colleagues have to say about our values here
Find out more about how we're at the heart of the communities we provide for hereRead more
PLUS take a look at what goes on at one of our AGMsRead more
- We're owned by our members and they're at the heart of all we do. For just £1 anyone can have their say in how we run our co-operative and enjoy a share of the profits.
- As a member you have the opportunity to take the lead and request grants and volunteering support for community projects where you live!
- We don't have shareholders, which means all of the money we make is used to create a better, fairer world by helping to build strong local communities.
- We only do three things with our profit:
- Pay a share to our members
- Invest it in community projects
- Reinvest it in our business
And, our colleagues love what we stand for, which is why we've received numerous colleague engagement accolades.
Looking to the future...
- More than 160 years on and our Society is now the largest independent co-operative in the UK with gross sales of over £1 billion, something we're very proud of.
- From that one little store, we now have almost 9,000 colleagues working in a range of diverse businesses including Food Retail, Travel, Healthcare, Funeral and Childcare.
- And we are just one of millions of successful co-operatives worldwide – the strength of the movement is in our shared ethical values.
- We continue to grow and evolve in line with what our members want, for example we set up Co-operative Energy a few years ago because of the industry's unethical practices and because our members told us they thought we could make a difference – and the business is doing great!
Read up on our business here