The Co-operative Urges Consumers to Join The Revolution
Released on: March 07, 2011, 11:10 am
The Co-operative Group
The Co-operative today (7 March) launched a major new
communications programme calling upon consumers to “join the revolution” and help secure a more balanced and sustainable future
for the UK.
The call to “join the revolution” will be underpinned by a high profile TV, press
and social media campaign that will provide guidance on how people can set up their
own co-operative businesses, fund community projects, campaign for change or simply
purchase ethical products and services, such as Fairtrade products and ethical investments.
The media campaign will showcase everyday people who, with help from The
Co-operative, are instigating real change – everything from community owned
wind-turbines to fan-owned football clubs, from urban beekeeping to young film-maker
Peter Marks, Group Chief Executive of The Co-operative said: “Until the 1980s people
understood the benefits of mutual ownership, but then the UK’s family silver was
sold-off cheaply in a wave of demutualisation that weakened the influence that
ordinary consumers could have on our economy.
“We are beginning to see momentum again at grassroots level, where the Co-operative
Enterprise Hub is helping new co-operative businesses set up at a rate of more than
one a day, but the opportunity is much bigger than that. Co-operatives alone are not
a panacea, but sitting alongside other business and service models, they can help
address the unprecedented social, economic and environmental challenges facing the
The TV commercial, which airs for the first time on Monday 7 March, tells how the
Rochdale Pioneers, who established the first successful retail co-operative in 1844,
started a revolution which is still going strong. The Co-operative now has more than
5,000 stores across the UK and there are almost a billion co-operative members
Today, The Co-operative is itself enjoying a strong economic renaissance, which has
seen it double revenues, double profits and double membership over the past three
The campaign supports the Group’s recently launched Ethical Plan, which sets out a
number of revolutionary goals that aim to cement its reputation as the most socially
responsible business in the UK.
The pledges in the Ethical Plan include:
• Growing membership from 6m to 20m by 2020, with the aim of making every customer a
• The most radical Fairtrade conversion programme ever undertaken.
• £11m to support co-operative growth, and the launch of a £20m international
Co-operative Development Loan Fund.
• Doubling financial support for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, from £400m to £1bn by 2013.
• The world’s first ethically-screened general insurance products, which will
support over two million
Notes to Editors:
The Co-operative Group stands apart from other major retailers in the UK as a
business which is owned, not by a small group of shareholders, but by more than five
million consumers. With core interests in food, financial services, travel,
pharmacy, funerals and farms, it has an annual turnover of £14 billion, employs
120,000 staff and operates over 5,000 retail trading outlets serving more than 20
million customers per week.
Following the acquisition of the Somerfield supermarket chain in March 2009, The
Co-operative Food is the fifth largest food retailer. The Co-operative Financial
Services is one of the largest and most diversified financial mutual businesses,
operating The Co-operative Bank, The Co-operative Insurance and Britannia.
The Co-operative is the UK’s number one provider of funeral services, the third
largest retail pharmacy chain, a leading travel retailer, supplying the travel needs
of more than three million people annually, and is the UK’s largest farmer.
Among its other businesses are The Co-operative Motor Group, The Co-operative
Electrical and The Co-operative Legal Services.
The Co-operative Enterprise Hub is a £7.5m investment in member-owned enterprises by
The Co-operative Group. The Enterprise Hub operates through a central website with a
network of local co-operative development experts providing dedicated advice,
training and guidance - including up to four days free business consultancy - on how
to set up, run and grow sustainable co-operative enterprises.
Contact Details: Russ Brady
Head of Group Public Relations
0161 827 5856
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