Meet our First Chief Values Officer, Pete Westall
Published 4 Jun 2019 in Society Announcements
Midcounties Co-operative, the UK’s largest independent co-operative society, has appointed Pete Westall to the newly created role of Chief Values Officer.
As Chief Values Officer, he will promote Midcounties as a member-owned purpose-led organisation to colleagues, members and the wider public through the provision of campaigns, events and community programmes.
Phil Ponsonby, Midcounties’ Group Chief Executive, said: “We believe we are the first co-operative to create a CVO role at an executive level and it signals that we are committed to doing business in a way that’s ethical and delivers a positive return for all our stakeholders. Pete has held a variety of General Manager roles across the Society and has a strong track record of promoting and developing both Midcounties and co-operation.”
Midcounties has over 700,000 members. Earlier this year, it launched the 1Change campaign to tackle the impact of single-use plastics and appointed adventurer Cal Major as the society’s environmental ambassador. The campaign was a direct response to research findings which found that 94% of Midcounties members believed that reducing plastic usage was a high priority.
Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, the trade association for UK co-operatives, said: “Culture and values are the next frontier for business in a world of empowered consumers, concerned employees and fluctuating social media reputations. The arrival of the Chief Values Officer was something we forecast two years ago and Midcounties, which has so often been an ethical business leader, from fair trade in the 1990s to fair tax in the 2010s, has done it again by creating this Executive role”.
Midcounties trades across numerous business groups including food retail, children’s nurseries, travel agency, funeral services and energy supply. It employs 8,500 colleagues and is headquartered in Warwick. The Society has achieved a 5-star rating in the BITC Corporate Responsibility Index and was voted as Leading Co-operative of the Year for a record third time.