11/29/2012 (press release: OnlinePR) // Midcounties Co-operativ
The Midcounties Co-operative has been named Co-operative of the Year at the annual Co-operative Awards which celebrate excellence, innovation and ethics in business.
The award, which recognises Midcounties as the best co-operative in the UK due to both its financial performance and social responsibility, was made at the Co-operatives United festival in Manchester where co-operatives from all over the world gathered to mark the end of the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives.
Chief Executive Ben Reid said: “This is a great honour from the co-operative movement and we are extremely proud to be recognised by our peers with this prestigious award.
“It has been an exciting 12 months as we have developed and expanded our food, energy, childcare and travel businesses in particular. We have had the confidence to invest and diversify despite the challenging economy because we believe in the co-operative way of doing business.
“Winning Co-operative of the Year is a fine endorsement of our approach and recognises what is very much a team effort with colleagues who share our commitment to providing excellent customer service and engaging with the members and communities we serve.
“Success cannot be judged on profits alone but how we use them and this award recognises this. To achieve it in the International Year of Co-operatives makes it very special indeed.”
Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, said: “The Midcounties Co-operative has shown outstanding performance in all areas – they combine solid commercial performance, innovations like Co-operative Energy and an active programme to involve its members in the business. We’re delighted that The Midcounties Co-operative has won the 2012 Co-operative of the Year Award.”
Midcounties employs more than 9,000 colleagues and has more than 470 branches and 245,000 active trading members. Member engagement is at the heart of Midcounties’ ethos, and in 2012 it has engaged with over 30,000 members through a range of events.
The Society’s headquarters are in Warwickshire and its trading heartlands are in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Wiltshire and Worcestershire. Its energy, childcare and employee benefits businesses trade across the UK.
Earlier this year it made The Sunday Times Best 25 Big Companies To Work For list for the second year running.
Midcounties showed its forward thinking by setting up Co-operative Energy last year to take on the Big 6 energy providers and create a co-operative alternative.
Its Co-operative Childcare business, the only co-operative chain of childcare nurseries in the country, runs 47 nurseries and two after school clubs. Midcounties Co-op Travel has also expanded significantly with more than 50 branches, an online business and an independent buying consortium.
This success has enabled Midcounties to invest not only in the business but also to provide £2.8 million in community support in its last financial year. It also returned payments to and on behalf of members of £8.2 million – £2 million more than the previous year.
Notes to Editors
The Midcounties Co-operative has its headquarters in Warwickshire, with trading outlets in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Shropshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire and the surrounding counties.
The Society’s trading groups are food retail, funeral, travel, pharmacy, childcare nurseries, employee benefits and energy. The Midcounties Co-operative is the largest independent co-operative society in the UK and has more than 470 branches, and 245,000 active trading members. It is in The Sunday Times Best 25 Big Companies To Work For list for the second year running.
The Society’s mission statement is ‘To be a successful consumer co-operative working towards creating a better, fairer world, and to enhance the lives of our colleagues, members, customers, and the communities we serve’.
For more details call Lorna Bishop at Seal on 0121 616 5800. Visit www.midcounties.coop
The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives, highlighting the contribution of co-operatives to socio-economic development, particularly their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. The Year will highlight the strengths of the co-operative business model as an alternative means of doing business and furthering socio-economic development.
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