Sourcing responsibly is core to our Future of Food ambition, and protecting the world’s forests and peatland is a vital part of our support. It’s linked to our position on sustainable palm oil and having a responsible approach to conservation in the regions affected by deforestation.

I’m excited and incredibly proud to announce we’re working with Chester Zoo to kick-start a conservation project in Sabah, Borneo. We’ve funded the planting of 5,000 trees which aims to reverse deforestation in a former palm oil plantation devastated by overproduction. Not only that, it’ll help the local animals (including orangutans) and wildlife to thrive with more space to live in.

Cat Barton, Field Conservation Manager at Chester Zoo said “We’ve been so impressed by Co-op’s commitment to sustainable palm oil. We’re really excited about this project and with your support, the reforestation of land in Sabah, Borneo has become a reality. I’d like to say a huge thank you for working with us to support a reforestation programme and to deliver sustainable palm oil education here in the UK. We’re looking forward to working with you to continue this progress”.

To celebrate the partnership, Chester Zoo are giving all Colleague Members a discount of 15% for one day entrances to the zoo, or 15 months for the price of 12. All you need to do is show your Colleague Member card at the gate.

The project will kick off later this year and we’ll keep you updated on progress as Chester Zoo visit the forest and the wildlife living there. There’ll also be more opportunities for colleagues and younger generations to get involved with Chester Zoo and the project, so look out for more information soon.

Sarah Wakefield
Sustainable Sourcing and Fairtrade Manager

Read more about our Palm Oil journey.

Join the conversation! 18 Comments

  1. Hi, When does the actual discount for members begin?

    Reading through the piece above it states about the discounts by showing your membership card but doesn’t state when this begins.

    and with the project starting later this year does that mean the offer will not start till later this year?

    Many thank

  2. This is amazing, I was in Borneo last year and have seen some of the conservation work being done but so much more can be achieved. Its great that the Co-Op is committed to helping such an important programme. Look forward to hearing more!

  3. Absolutely made up we are now starting to get involved in this, our beautiful animals all over the world are in danger and im so grateful that this amazing company can take this matter further..Well done !!

  4. @Mark – I suspect it may not be the most economical way of going about it but membership of Chester Zoo does grant free entrance to a number of zoos across the UK, including Colchester Zoo in Essex. I’ve managed to visit Edinburgh, Bristol and Marwell in Hampshire for free with my Chester membership so far and Twycross in Leicestershire is on my hit list for 2019.

    • Ah thanks for that. That’s interesting I’d have to look into getting the membership. I like to visit Colchester for the wild animals & the penguins for London Zoo.

  5. Nice news. I wonder if we could do some planting here in the UK too. Maybe not trees but our Food and Funeralcare sites would look nice with some bee friendly plants outside of them.

    By the way, booking online with Chester Zoo will save more money than paying on the gate with a 15% discount.

  6. Love this!

  7. This is great to hear about. Really feels like tangible project supporting and working with Chester zoo in making a difference in a global sense. It sounds like it will really bring to life some of the issues that are occurring in the wider world. I look forward to hearing more about it.

  8. I think this is great news. I am a supporter of the zoo. However, are we actually doing anything about reducing products which contain palm oil in our stores?

  9. That’s great the Co-Op Food are backing Chester Zoo & making people aware of the problems with palm oil which effects orang-utans the most. The food store Iceland have been promoting this issue too.
    The only slightly annoying thing I would say is Chester Zoo is rather far away. It would be nice if the Co-Op group gave some of these membership benefits to other regions in the country away from the Manchester area.
    Regards, Mark – Essex

  10. The Link to the palm oil journey is 2017, is there an update? The 2017 update showed a 1/3 increase in the use of palm oil over 2016 with more coop branded lines than ever using it, is this a trend that we are continuing? How are we going with our CSPO target of 2020?

  11. Great news

  12. Love this too!

    Some of us work in Funeralcare (at least we do at the moment) and we’d like to see some stories about us for a change – this week is all Food, Food Food.

    Not to detract from what is obviously a good thing…

    • Try working in Insurance, can’t remember the last story about our business unit. In-fact they didn’t even deem it worthy on here to mention the group had sold it off! Apparently that doesn’t count as “News” – But data protection day or a fluff piece on curries is.

      There’s lots of positive stories to be told even now from Insurance and from Funeralcare as well I’m sure but I think most people will agree the only priority for Co-op now is food

      • Thanks for your feedback. We love sharing stories from all across the Co-op and we hope stories like these are relevant to all colleagues, no matter what business you work in. If you’ve got a story that you think is worth sharing send us an email on

    • Thanks for your feedback. We love sharing stories from all across the Co-op and we hope stories like these are relevant to all colleagues, no matter what business you work in. If you’ve got a story that you think is worth sharing send us an email on

  13. Love This!

Comments are closed.


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