We’ve backed young carers, made a noise at Greenbelt, and taken provenance to heart.
Published 10 Jul 2017
The greatest show
Food provenance and locally sourced produce were showcased by Midcounties Co-op at the annual BBC Countryfile Live event at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire.
Our partner in provenance, Happerley, was set up in 2014 by Gloucestershire farmer Matthew Rymer to trace where our food – and its ingredients – come from. They are working with us on our Best of Our Counties range and on the future of our childcare nurseries (see page 18).
Also joining us was TV star and Cotswold farmer Adam Henson, who is on the Happerley Advisory Board. He and new Co-op group CEO Phil Ponsonby share a passion for improving education and awareness of food production.
The Best of Our Counties range is sourced only from the home or neighbouring county of each store. Phil Ponsonby said: ‘This will deliver the truth of our ingredients from farmer to consumer.’
The Co-op took centre stage again at Greenbelt Festival in August to appear in front of 10,000 people at Boughton House, Northants. Following on from our successful debut appearance at last year’s arts, faith and justice festival, we hosted talks with high-profile speakers including David Bird, CEO, Co-op Energy, and Ed Mayo, Secretary General, Co-operatives UK. The headline acts were Pussy Riot, a protest punk rock group, and New York-based rock band We Are Scientists. There was also a thought-provoking daily education session, What Is Co-op?
With 10,000 visitors, our Gloucester Fun Day raised an impressive £20,000 for our two local charity partners, Newlands Fund, which provides backing for charities helping physically disabled people, and Gloucestershire Young Carers. With their families, the young carers enjoyed the attractions and rides – dinosaurs to dodgems – all for free.
More than 5,000 went to the 23rd Churchstoke Family Fun Day in Powys, raising £15,000 for local good causes and community group.
Bend it Like Midcounties
We also played the TV soaps Allstars side in a celebrity football match – read the article online