Over the last four weeks I have travelled across the country to listen to the views and concerns of Coop Members at our Members Meetings in Liverpool, London, Brighton and Glasgow. Many apologies to those Members I didn’t get to meet in person but I hope the short video of your Member Nominated Directors helped a little.
It was a pleasure to meet so many Members and Colleagues and to share some of the good news on the steady progress of our Coop Society. Food is continuing to do well, growing strongly with more new and refurbished stores and beating many of our competitors with better products and lower prices on fresh food and also on meat and fish coming very soon.
Our funeral service is also doing well and the introduction of our simple and dignified funeral at a more affordable cost has been warmly welcomed. This is one of the things I am most proud of as too many families are struggling to meet the high cost of burying their loved ones.
Insurance and legal services are improving and the way we responded to the recent Cumbrian floods with immediate help and ongoing support was fantastic and much appreciated by Members.
The main issues raised with me were around the still too large variations in the quality, range and service in our stores and we clearly still have a way to go to make sure we meet consistently excellent standards everywhere.
Colleagues were also concerned about safety and security in some areas and it is right that everyone should feel safe working in our Coop. I will ensure this continues to be a priority for the Board.
We discussed Fairtrade, ethical standards and local sourcing of food and other purchasing and I am pushing for more social impact from all of our purchasing to support local jobs and communities.
Young members told me about their difficulties in standing for office due to the trading requirements and I am working with the Coop Young members Board to make some changes which will encourage younger members to get involved and make their voices heard.
Let me know what you think about our Coop
So an amazingly busy few weeks but all good stuff. If you couldn’t get to one of the Meetings but want me to take up an issue or just listen to your views please do post something back to me.
I love being the voice of Members on our Board and making sure we Rebuild our Coop in line with our Values and Principles so please do get in touch.
(Picture Hazel and June Morrison promoting Fairtrade at Glasgow)
All v best