Central England Co-op makes top five in annual report of 100 best performing co-operatives

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Central England Co-op has been named number five in a list of the Top 100 co-operatives in the UK.

The Society, which has over 400 food stores, funeral homes, florists and travel shops across 16 counties, jumped one place from sixth to fifth in the annual list of co-operative businesses based on turnover published as part of the Co-op Economy Report.

The result means that Central England Co-op is the highest placed independent retail co-operative, with Co-op Group, John Lewis, Arla Foods and the National Merchant Buying Society filling out the top five slots.

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op chief executive, said: “This report showcases the importance of co-operative businesses and how our co-operative difference is what sets us apart.

“Our member-owned, community focused, co-operative business achieved this result thanks to the support of our colleagues, customers and Members pushing us to become a diverse, progressive, relevant and inclusive Society.

“We will continue to highlight our point of difference – our co-operative values and principles – as we position ourselves at the heart of communities we serve and aim to thrive as a successful independent Society.”

The Co-op Economy report is the nation’s only comprehensive report on the UK’s co-operative sector. It reveals turnover, membership and employee figures for thousands of co-op enterprises across the UK.

It has been compiled by Co-operatives UK on behalf of the UK co-operative movement. The report analyses data from thousands of co-op businesses across the UK for the period 2005 to 2020.

It also revealed that the UK’s 7,063 co-ops have a combined turnover of £38.2 billion (up £350 million from 2019) and 14 million people are members of a co-op – the equivalent to more than a fifth of the UK’s population.

Nick Matthews, Chair of Co-operatives UK, said: “There’s an appetite for a different economy to emerge from this crisis, with many people talking about the need to ‘build back better’. If we are to rebuild a fairer economy, provide decent livelihoods and support communities we need more co-ops, mutuals and social enterprises.”