Ethical smartphone brings new business to Phone Co-op


A new ethical smartphone is on the market, and is stocked exclusively in the UK by a co-operative. Billed as ‘the first smartphone that puts social values first’, the Fairphone FP1U is built with conflict-free minerals and made in a factory with a worker-controlled welfare fund. The Phone Co-op is the only UK mobile telecoms provider to stock the […]


First meeting of the Co-operative Group council takes place

The view from Angel Square - the Co-operative Group's head office

The Co-operative Group’s new council held its first meeting at its Angel Square head office in Manchester last month. Formed from the organisation’s former regional boards, the council represents the membership as the guardian of the society’s values and principles. It elects councillors to the senate, which has a closer interaction with the main board. […]


Channel Islands members challenge board over depot closures

Channel Islands’ chief executive Colin Macleod hopes the changes will result in more jobs at the society

Members of the Channel Islands Co-operative called a special meeting to challenge the board over the closure of the society’s Jersey and Guernsey food depots. The society intends to move its warehousing to a Co-operative Group distribution centre in Andover, Hampshire. The Guernsey site would close first, with Jersey following next summer. This would result […]


Co-operative Group ends deal to run Co-operative Bank cash machines


Cash machines in Co-operative Food stores will no longer be operated by the Co-operative Bank by the middle of 2015. The Co-operative Group’s deal with the Bank to operate 1,900 ATMs has come to a premature end, following the completed acquisition of the co-operative’s security services arm Sunwin on 3 November. Global ATM operator Cardtronics bought […]


Thousands urge FCA to stop blocking renewable energy co-ops


Almost 3,500 people have signed a petition calling on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to stop blocking registration of renewable energy co-operatives. The campaign on the 38 Degrees website, created by energy co-op federation Energy4All, says the FCA has refused to register a significant number of new societies, previously often known as members co-ops, since spring. […]


Retail co-operatives reform national buying group

General view of Co-operative food store, Cheadle.

Consumer co-operatives have a “once in a generation chance” to move forward together, as retail societies form a successor to the Co-operative Retail Trading Group. The new federal organisation, which is going through its final stages in being set up, will be owned collectively by independent retail societies and the Co-operative Group. In wake of […]


Brewery accepts lower community offer for Staffordshire pub


Marston’s Brewery has accepted a bencom’s offer for the Royal Oak in Rushton Spencer, despite receiving a higher offer from a developer. Rushton Oak Community Pub offered the brewery £200,000 for the Staffordshire pub following the launch of its community share offer in October. John Pears of ROCP said the sale was due to complete before […]


Sir Christopher Kelly joins Co-operative Group board

The Co-operative Group's One Angel Square head office in Manchester

The man who declared the Co-operative Group’s £1.5bn capital shortfall in the Co-operative Bank a failure in management and governance has joined the society’s board. Sir Christopher Kelly, who completed an independent review of the Group’s problems earlier this year, has been appointed senior independent non-executive director. This post was first held by Lord Myners, […]


Solar co-operative benefits from co-op loan fund

R-ECO designed a solar system for Pinewood School, Swindon

A worker co-operative that designs and installs renewable energy systems has received a loan from a fund set up by co-operatives. The Co-operative Loan Fund, established by the Co-operative Group, Midcounties, East of England and Chelmsford Star, offers loans of up to £75,000 to other co-operative businesses. R-ECO, which has branches in Cornwall, Bristol and […]