Thanks to our new Co-op membership rewards we now have an incredible £9m to give back to local communities across the UK. That money will help 4,000 local causes make great things happen. What an amazing achievement.

To celebrate, on 19 April we’re bringing colleagues, local causes and members together in store.

Make sure you pop into your local Co-op store on that day, and share in the celebrations.

Telling the nation about our Co-op

Our first pay-out to local causes is proof that we really are a better way of doing business for you and your communities. So now’s the moment to invite the nation to ‘Join us’. We’re broadcasting our new national ad for the first time over the Easter weekend but I wanted you to see it today.

The ad ‘Great things happen when we work together’ features real life examples of 13 local causes filmed by BAFTA award-winning director Shane Meadows and the inspiring description of the Co-op by spoken word performer George the Poet.

Take a look. It made me feel proud when I first watched it. I think it will make you feel proud too.

Steve

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. the Co-op Group does have holders of shares (Share Holders/ Share Account Holders). £1 share(account)s for individuals, and £5 Shares for registered groups of individuals in its membership, it also has current corporate investor share(account)s, and dormant individual investor share balances for holders of investor shares in predecessor societies. That membership may be open, voluntary, and be designed to benefit the society, societies and the UK society it trades in, but the only holders of shares in the co-op are individuals and groups of individuals. This simple reality seems completey glossed over by these video, the Co-op is about active choices by inderviduals and groups to co-operate and trade, not one off donations or a one off box of cigarettes. Communities and community local government Councils are prevented from investing directly by the rules (not so much at other co-op societies), but can be awarded dividend or AMM funding anyway on application to the membership. That funding or resource is awarded by members out of their collective right to distributed dividend/surplus not by right of such and such group to the distribution (Thats taxation, something the co-op can also be proud to pay and have campaigned for)

    The co-op is owned by paid up holders of Co-op Share Account balances greater than or equal to £1, and rewards them and local bodies they care about in relation to the amount of actively trade with their co-op they record with the divicard. The idea non card holders and local bodies can benefit from distributions off their own back without member support is not the case. The idea member funds are redistributed from where more numerical, and more, affuent, members live, to where less afluent/more rural non-members causes are situated is false, any look at the pins in the old regional board map showed this. Am I wrong about this???

    Why are we not campaigning for charities and local groups to join as corporate £5 members and share the benefits of collective buying in from co-operatively owned social economic trade. The benefit of 99% of the revenues not included in the 1% to community will always be larger, ongoing trade is more than a one off capital infusion for new equipment or new faciltities. Why is it ok to give charity to these groups, but not to promote trade and circular reinvestment of the benefits of trade back and forth with corporate members that comes with that membership.

    How many of these groups were even asked if they would like to become £5 members???

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  2. Well I’m not sure I understood this 1 min easter video and I’ve watched the 13 component videos that previously came up of the cutting room floor for this project. Who is George the poet, why is he not pictured?. What is the scale of the 1% as compared to our rivals? How much did we reach into new communities, never distributed to before, say in the last 30 years (like say Kent outside SE London boundary). How many successful applicants for co-ops have suceeded before, like my local community farm, founded 20 years ago on co-op land, gifted a long peppercorn lease and mid 90s £4000 in grant, it just got another 4k, with 2k predicted in the new round, Big success in my area). As with the co-op revolution ad campaign this all requires a level of background knowledge about where they live and what the meaning of community owned, community managed, for the community co-operatism is that 99% of the population actively seek to remain ignorant of.

    On scale, In my local area our massive open 24 hour asda prides itself on the whopping £300 it gave to charity in a four month period, while a smaller large morrisions (EX Coop) gave £13,000 in a 6 month period. Waitrose, tesco, Yorkshire BS, Nationwide and a Local Community interest company charitity shop all give around £2000 every four months, and all managing to find different local charities. My two local co-op foods raised about £4750 in the nine months of the new scheme/but considering how titchy they our under our “ever growing smaller” “1950-2050” policy thats a big proportion localy and quite a lot as a share of our revenues. All sucessful charities very much serving different small pockets of the massive SE London communities, but all invisible to passers by, residents and people who don’t seek out instore membership printouts.

    From what I can judged from the memberinfo dashboard we are now on track to generate almost as much for the communities we trade with annually as at back the United/Group merger in 07. Getting back to the ~120million level of 08-10 within five years (ignoring the growth in national community size with population and the inflating away of the value of that money) seems plausible now, and Considering the ever growing smaller policy and the loss of five of the core businesses thats only a bit terrible for our communities. Nothing on growing our stock of member subscribed risk capital, co-operative development, our stance on colleague pay, conditions, training or productivity, overseas and european development, cooperation among co-operatives or investment in animal welfare/ecology that would otherwise be unecomic without member low return funds, but then there never is with tCG co-op. Could be much worse though, could be all Walmarts Food and Dignity Funerals by now, for which we must be thankful…. though Still a shame what we did to Co-op Clothing staff , at least Co-op farms team survived into the third or four new ownership since our retreat from that lot of the family silver.

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Community, Join us, Membership, The Co-op Way