Co-op Group AGM 2017: Preview of the fringe events

A new series of sessions for members will look at issues such as recycling, Fairtrade and advertising policy

The Co-op Group is introducing new member events for this weekend’s annual general meeting, with six fringe events.

The first session will explore the issue of data trust and transparency. It is designed to help shape the Group’s new policy regarding managing and working with its members’ data. It will feature a keynote speech followed by a panel discussion about data and behaviour.

Participants can also get involved in workshops around the themes of trust, consent and sharing data.

A second fringe event will look at how the Group is working to tackle water poverty through its partnership with The One Foundation, which has been running for more than 10 years.

Since, then over £7m raised through donations from sales of Co-op Fairbourne Spring Water has been delivered to an estimated 1.5 million people to help address this issue. The event will highlight the achievements of the partnership as well as the current issues with clean water.

Another fringe event will focus on efforts to promote and source Fairtrade products, particularly cocoa. The Group is the first retailer in the UK to commit to buying all Fairtrade cocoa for its own-brand products. Its own-brand chocolate is also entirely Fairtrade. The event offers the chance to learn more about Fairtrade and the challenges facing cocoa farmers.

The fourth event looks at modern slavery, with experts highlighting how organisations such as the Co-op can be an agent of change. Earlier this year, the retailer launched an initiative to offer modern slavery survivors paid work experience in its food stores.

Another fringe event looks at the Group’s long-term plans for recycling, with a target set for 2020, that 80% of its products will have packaging that is easily recyclable. Participants can suggest ideas on how to encourage more members and their communities to recycle waste.

An additional fringe event will share the Co-op’s developing advertising policy. The retailer is currently reviewing where to invest its advertising, after members raised concerns about some of the media used by the Co-op to advertise. The key elements of the new advertising policy will be supporting business growth, promoting co-op values and protecting member choice. The session will also examine the Co-op’s ethical framework, values and principles and the advertising challenges, benefits and future trends.

The fringe events are open to both eligible and non-eligible members, with registration taking place on the day. More information on the events and how to register is available online.

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