The Co-operative Group's position on Fairtrade and its other sustainability initiatives have been recognised by the Queen.
The Queen's Award for Enterprise are made each year by the Queen, on the advice of the Prime Minister, to companies that excel in three categories ? international trade, innovation and sustainable development.
The Group was one of eight recognised in the sustainable development category for "outstanding advance in embedding sustainability across its operations".
The official announcement stated: "The business has implemented an impressive range of initiatives across all aspects of its activities, reflecting a commendable corporate sustainability ethos.?
"Key among these initiatives is its suite of impressive ethical investments and its laudable leadership on Fairtrade issues.?
"Innovative schemes to reduce its transport impacts, coupled with pioneering research to reduce the impact of its own brand packaging and investment in projects to reduce energy consumption, also testify to the ambitious sustainability aims of the Group.?
"The Group is also to be praised for its strong Co-operative Community Investment Foundation that provides direct financial support, as well as volunteer support, to a number of community organisations and for its social goals agenda."