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Co-op to hand back £100m a year to members and communities

Published 21/05/2016

The firm is highlighting a 'better way to do business'
The firm is highlighting a 'better way to do business'

The Co-op has unveiled ambitious plans to hand back £100 million a year to its members and communities.

The food-to-funeralcare business is to give members a 5% reward if they buy Co-op branded products and services, with a further 1% for local causes.

The company also confirmed plans to bring back its "divi" - a share of profits to members - and will restore its blue clover-leaf logo, which will be rolled out across the business over the next few years.

The Co-op is aiming to recruit an extra one million new members and give an extra £3 million in benefits to Fairtrade producer communities.

The changes were announced at the Co-op's annual meeting in Manchester.

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."

Chairman Allan Leighton said: "We are on the verge of creating a new Co-op economy, one where the trade from our members clearly benefits them, their communities and our thousands of suppliers.

"Our brand identity, whether seen on a Fairtrade bottle of wine, on a funeral home fascia or on our insurance website, will signify a better way of doing business."

The Co-op said it had identified 1,500 communities close to its food stores and funeralcare homes, where local causes could benefit from the 1% "community reward".

The clover leaf logo was phased out in the 1980s but will gradually be restored over the next few years.

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From Belfast Telegraph