Co-op to give £100m a year back to members and communities with relaunch of membership
The Co-operative Group has announced a new membership benefits initiative which will include the UKs biggest mutual handing back more than £100 million a year to its members and their communities.
The new benefits, which will reward members and their communities for trading with the Co-op, were announced at the group’s AGM in Manchester.
Members will receive a 5% reward for any purchases they make of Co-op own brand products and services, with a further 1% directly benefiting local causes.
In addition, the Co-op is planning to bring back the much loved ‘Divi’ – the share of profits which it gives to members.
There will also be new ways for members to connect with each other, get involved in their communities and have a say in the future of the group.
Over the next five years, the Co-op is aiming to recruit one million new members and have 50% of sales across its businesses coming from Co-op members. Within the food business, this currently stands at 25%.
The group is also planning to return an additional £3 million in benefits to Fairtrade producer communities by extending its sourcing commitments, and to make digital work for the business and members by seeking new digital opportunities to co-operate.
To mark the launch of the new member benefits, the Co-op has announced a return to its blue clover-leaf logo, which will be rolled-out across its entire business over the next few years.
In addition, some 70,000 Co-op colleagues are taking part in a ‘Back to being Co-op’ programme, helping to educate staff about the benefits of membership and reconnect them with the group’s heritage.
Richard Pennycook, chief executive of the Co-op, said: “This is what the Co-op is all about. Big business is often accused of taking money out of communities – we are putting it back in as we champion a better way of doing business for our members and their communities.
“Our intention is to return to paying a dividend again, but we also want to make the rewards for members who trade with the Co-op more meaningful and community focused. We’re already seeing good momentum across our businesses and this will drive further growth which our members and their communities will benefit from. It clearly demonstrates the Co-op difference being delivered every day.”
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