Awards success for the UK’s co-ops in 2017

Co-ops are recognised for their community contributions. Here’s a selections of some big wins scored by the movement last year ...

Princess Royal: Apprenticeships

Co-op Funeralcare was awarded a Princess Royal Training Award for its apprenticeship programme. The Co-op Group’s funeral provider opened its doors to apprentices in 2013 and has since seen around 500 people join each year. Only 40 organisations have received a Princess Royal Training Award, which celebrates best practice.

Camra: Village pub awards

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) has given its National Pub of the Year award to the a small local saved from closure by its village community. The George & Dragon pub in Hudswell, North Yorkshire, closed in 2008 but was renovated and reopened two years later by Hudswell Community Pub Ltd, formed by locals to buy the site. The pub now also serves as a meeting place, venue, village library and local shop.

Plunkett Foundation: Rural winners

The 2017 winners of the Rural Community Co-operative Awards showcases the organisations that have made a real difference to individuals within their communities. This year’s regional winners were Barkers of Huby, Old Crown Co-operative, Bamford Community Society, Rocklands Community Shop, Ewelme Village Store, Exbourne & Jacobstowe Community Association, GlenWyvis Distillery, Cletwr Shop and Raglan Community Development & Renovation Society. Ronald Thorne from Chittlehamholt Village Shop won the People’s Choice Award for his efforts in saving his local store.

CTP Awards: Most trusted and ethical

Scotmid Co-op was recognised as The Shopper’s Most Trusted & Ethical Convenience Retailer for 2017 at the CTP Awards. The award is based on shopper ratings on how well they believe a store is engaging with local community initiatives and to what extent it is actively trying to reduce food wastage.

Head of nurseries Sally Mayer collects her award

Nursing Management Today: Top manager

Co-operative Childcare won best Nursery Operations Manager – for nurseries head Sally Mayer – and Nursery Recruitment Initiative from Nursing Management Today. The business, part of Midcounties Co-op, also had a clean sweep of good or outstanding Ofsted scores.

Business in the Community: Sustainability action

The Responsible Business Awards, from BITC,  champion the most inspiring businesses taking action to build more inclusive workplaces, stronger communities and tackle environmental challenges. Midcounties was reaccredited in the Sustainable Products and Services, and Building Stronger Communities categories. Central England was reaccredited in the Inspiring Young Talent category and Southern in the Building Stronger Communities category.

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Modern Slavery

The Stop Slavery Award has been awarded to the Co-op Group for its work in tackling modern slavery. The award “recognises companies that have taken concrete steps to eradicate forced labour from their supply chains” and judges said it is the ‘best in class’ at demonstrating integrity, courage and innovation in cleaning their supply chains.

BBC: Best retailer

Worker co-op Unicorn Grocery has been named the Best Food Retailer at the 17th BBC Food and Farming Awards. It was nominated by its customers and was shortlisted from a list of 528 food retailers. A vegan supermarket, Unicorn was set up 20 years ago; since then the grocery has grown from four members to over 70.

The winners of the Co-operative of the Year awards celebrate at Congress

Co-operatives UK: Top co-ops

Suma Wholefoods, a Halifax-based wholesaler owned by its 160 employee members, was named Leading Co-operative of the Year. Daily Bread Co-operative, a worker co-op founded in 1980 which supplies food in Northampton, received the Growing Co-operative of the Year award. And New Leaf Co-op, set up five years ago to offer high quality food in Edinburgh as part of a network of young people starting co-ops, was named Inspiring Co-operative of the Year.

Retail Industry Awards: Top retailer

The Co-op Group has picked up three major prizes at the Retail Industry Awards. It won the Convenience Retailer category, beating Sainsbury’s Local and Tesco Express. Judges recognised it for going beyond being just a retailer with its commitment to the Global Investment Fund for Water, its work on Fairtrade and its campaigning against modern slavery. It also won the Drinks Retailer and The Food-To-Go Retailer categories.

• More from 2017 at 2017 In Review

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