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Offering you a wide range of great quality products which are honestly and ethically sourced.
The Co-operative Food takes fish sustainability very seriously and is committed to supplying our own brand range of fishery products which gives customers a wide choice supported by informed and accurate information. Membership is open to everyone, provided that they share the values and principles upon which the group was founded. The Co-operative Group has over 123,000 employees across the UK, with its main head office based in Manchester, North West England. The Co-operative Group developed gradually over 140 years from the merger of co-operative wholesale societies and many independent retail societies, changing from a purely wholesale operation to a major retailer in its own right. In 1863, the North of England Co-operative Wholesale Industrial and Provident Society Limited was launched in Manchester by 300 individual co-operatives in Yorkshire and Lancashire.
By the 1990s, CWS's share of the grocery market had declined considerably and the viability of the co-operative business model was put in doubt. It was in this climate, following many years of aborted discussions, that CWS merged with its struggling affiliate Co-operative Retail Services (CRS) in 2000. At the start of 2007, the Group began discussions with United Co-operatives, the UK's second-largest co-operative, on the possibility of a merger of the two societies.[7] On 16 February 2007, the boards of both societies announced that they were to merge subject to members' approval, and on 28 July 2007 the new society came into being.
In May 2010, The Co-operative Group unveiled plans to build a new head office building in Manchester.
Originally the Co-operative Wholesale Society Limited, the name was changed to Co-operative Group (CWS) Limited in 2001, following the transfer of engagements of Co-operative Retail Services in 2000. The modern Co-operative Group was formed from a large range of different independent societies with separate brand identities.
In 2007, the group began a full-scale re-brand of its estate with the aim of creating a unified identity.
The Co-operative Group also launched its largest ever television advertising campaign in 2009.
The Group now has 85% of the co-operative retail business in the UK and substantial shares in certain wider markets, including travel, funerals and pharmacies.
The group operates 450 travel agencies The Co-operative Travel is made up of what was 'Travelcare' and 'Co-op Travel'. The Co-operative Funeralcare is the UK's largest funeral director with over 800 funeral homes, many of which retain their private names whilst others operate under the co-operative brand. The Co-operative Pharmacy is now the third largest community pharmacy group in the UK with nearly 800 branches. Co-operative Legal Services is a national legal services provider of legal experts dedicated to widening and easing public access to legal provision. The group manages over 70,000 acres (280 km2) of land across Great Britain which is providing an ever increasing number of products, such as soft fruit, potatoes, flour and cider, to Co-operative Food stores allowing the group to further differentiate itself from competitors.
The group maintains a property business that manages an investment and trading property portfolio. The Co-operative Clothing design, manufacture and distribute Workwear, businesswear and uniforms for catering, construction, beauty and most other industries under their own label. The Co-operative Motor Group is one of the North's leading motor traders and one of the top 50 motor dealers in the UK. Syncro was the rebranded engineering and building services business of the Co-operative Group, based in Salford.
Associated Co-operative Creameries was the Group's large milk processing and distribution division.
The Group decided to withdraw from the department store business following many years of increasing losses, with several of the stores being acquired by the Anglia Regional Co-operative Society, and the remainder being closed. However, the Group continues to operate a growing internet business retailing electrical goods and designer beds, as well as providing electrical buying, warehousing and distribution services to the wider co-operative movement, as many of the independent societies continue to operate in non-food retailing. The idea of co-operative trading revolutionized food retailing with the dividend, often known as "divi", and the "divi number" becoming an integral part of British life.
Historically, members' sales would be recorded in ledgers in society's stores and at the end of the collection period a proportional payment would be made back to the member. By the late twentieth century the Co-operative Group's precursors and then the Co-operative Group were no longer paying true dividend (it had become a drain on limited resources), although several independent societies (such as Anglia Regional) continued to do so. However, in September 2006 the Co-operative Group relaunched "true" dividend whereby a proportion of the profits of the Co-operative Group are returned to members.


New members are recruited by allowing them to deduct the refundable subscription for a ?1 share from their first dividend. In 2007, the Oxford-based Midcounties Co-operative joined the Group's membership scheme allowing its members to earn dividend at Co-operative Group stores and vice versa.
The Annual Report cites a number of factors in determining executive pay, including "attracting, retaining and motivating senior Executives of the appropriate calibre to further the success of the Group" and "ensuring that the interests of Executives are aligned with those of the Group and its members". CEO Peter Marks was paid a basic salary of ?900,000 in 2010, with a performance-related bonus of ?449,000.
As a co-operative, the Group places importance on ethical and transparent trading and reporting, and democratic accountability and participation. The Co-operative Group, as the largest retail business in the UK Cooperative movement, is also the biggest affiliate supporter of the Co-operative Party, which fields Coop candidates in UK national, regional and local elections on joint tickets with the Labour Party, its sister party.
As of 2011, twenty-two independent consumer co-operatives are corporate members, in other words customer owners, of the Group. A recent Which survey claimed that the Co-operative was the least favourite grocer with only 46% satisfaction among customers.
We are the UK’s leading supporter of Fairtrade and are also proud to be the local retailer with the familiar face that shoppers know and trust.
Every year members receive a share of the group's profit, based on the total amount of profit made, and the amount of money they spent with the organization in that year. The Co-operative Group has been based in Manchester since inception in 1863 and will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2013, by which time the Group is expected to have moved into the new ?800m NOMA, Manchester development which is currently under construction. It sold its factories to Andrew Regan in 1994 and he returned in 1997 with an audacious hostile ?1.2 billion bid. Its headquarters complex is situated on the north side of Manchester city centre adjacent to the Manchester Victoria railway station.
The initial phase of construction of the new building has commenced at the site on Miller Street on the north side of the city centre. CWS Retail was formed in 1933 and demerged in 1957 as CRS, with the purpose of opening shops in co-operative deserts and taking over failing retail societies. This led to a lack of brand consistency, tending to give an incoherent message to consumers. The well-known four-leaf clover 'Co-op' brand, which was introduced in 1967 and adjusted in 1993, along with those of most of its other businesses including Travelcare and Funeralcare, was phased out in favour of The co-operative strapline which unifies the group around one single brand. It directly operates over 2,900 stores of various sizes with the biggest geographical spread of any retailer.
The business also has direct sales channels through telephone, home workers and, the internet. The Co-operative Pharmacy have a nationwide presence from the north of Scotland to the south of England, with pharmacies in Wales (the biggest single pharmacy chain in Wales) and Northern Ireland too. In 2002 they were brought together under an umbrella society, Co-operative Financial Services (or CFS), which is wholly owned by the Group.
Services cover the writing of Wills, probate, conveyancing, legal assistance with accidents and personal injuries and employment law. ACC also handled logistics of the retail business but this responsibility was given to a new department, Co-operative Retail Logistics, prior to sale. Many of the shops had been in poor locations and had suffered from years of under-investment. For many years it was co-owned by several co-operative societies but eventually became wholly owned and managed by the Co-operative Group. The way in which co-operative retail societies are run for the benefit, and on behalf of their members is something which sets them apart from their modern-day competitors. As the societies grew, and the number of members increased, the method of using ledgers became cumbersome. In the late 1990s a loyalty card scheme, in the style of the Tesco Clubcard, was introduced which used the Dividend brand.[26] Ironically these loyalty cards were inspired by the original co-operative dividend but were little more than marketing exercises as well as a way to gather useful customer information.
To emphasize the change, the scheme is now called The Co-operative Membership and members earn a "share of the profits".
Members can collect points to increase their share of the profits by using the services provided across the whole family of businesses.
Retail trading areas are overseen by Area Committees of about ten to twelve members, which have annual elections and meetings for all members.[31] These elect members onto regional boards, which also meet annually to report to all members in the region.


It is also a major sponsor of new co-operative ventures, local initiatives through Co-operative Action and Fairtrade promotion. In addition to core aims of furthering Cooperative values and Mutualism in Parliament and on the national stage cooperative party members, activists and representatives (MPs,MSPs,AMs and Councillors) also campaign on wider social issues, including the most recent "The Feelings Mutual" campaign.
They invested share capital to found or join the Group's wholesaler predecessors, such as the North of England Co-operative Wholesale Industrial and Provident Society and the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society. Throughout the 20th century, smaller societies merged with CWS, including the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society (SCWS) in 1973 and the London-based South Suburban Co-operative Society in 1984.
There were allegations of "carpet-bagging"—new members who joined simply to make money from the sale—and, more seriously, fraud and commercial leaks. The complex is made up of many different buildings of different periods with two notable tower blocks, New Century House and the solar panel-clad CIS Tower. The project aims to reflect ethical values of the organization in its design, construction and its relationship both with employees and surrounding communities.
The spot, created by McCann Erickson, features the Bob Dylan track "Blowin' in the Wind", marking one of the rare occasions that the singer songwriter has allowed his music to be used for commercial purposes. The stores are mainly in the convenience and medium sized supermarket sector, with some larger superstores. In July 2009 the business launched their own tour operation as a joint venture with Cosmos Holidays (part of the Monarch Group). CFS is made up of the Co-operative Bank, including the internet bank Smile and the former Britannia Building Society and the Co-operative Insurance Society; it has over four and a half million customers. The division was sold to Dairy Farmers of Britain, a farmers co-operative, on 10 August 2004. Initially, two stores were to be retained in Perth and Tunbridge Wells as a trial of a new style of department store but it was decided to close these in 2006.
The dividend is a financial reward to members based on each member's level of trade with the society.
As a solution, some societies, including Co-operative Retail Services, started to issue stamps to members for qualifying transactions. Co-operative customers (not just members) could sign up and receive a swipe card to record their purchases with vouchers being sent out twice a year which could be exchanged for cash or goods. Since then, other independent co-operatives joined the reciprocal membership dividend scheme, including Anglia Regional Co-operative Society (2008), Southern Co-operatives (2009), Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society (2009) and Midlands Co-operative (2010).
A national board includes directors elected from regional boards, plus representatives of other societies, the corporate members.
As noted above, these co-operatives are represented alongside the regional boards at annual meetings and in the board of directors, and are entitled to dividends based on the amount of their purchases from the Group. It is the largest organisation of this type in the world, with over 5.5 million members, who all have a say in how the business is run and how its social goals are achieved.
Following the employment of a private detective and a subsequent lengthy criminal court case, Regan's bid was rejected and two senior CWS executives were dismissed and imprisoned for fraud. The distribution of profits on the basis of turnover rather than capital invested is a fundamental difference between a co-operative and most private sector enterprise. Members would collect the stamps on a savings card and, when the card was complete, would use it as payment for goods or deposit into their share account. The group comprises a family of businesses, including: Food, Travel, Financial Services, Healthcare, Funeral care, Legal Services, Motors and Online Electricals. Representatives of the societies that part own the group are elected to the group's national board. However, the episode recharged CWS and its membership base and proved to be a catalyst for rejuvenation which is continuing today. The group manages The Co-operative brand and the Co-operative Retail Trading Group (CRTG), which sources and promotes goods for food stores.[6] There is a similar purchasing group (CTTG) for co-operative travel agents.
Tony Blair's Co-operative Commission, chaired by John Monks, made major recommendations for the co-operative movement, including the organization and marketing of the retail societies.



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