In the South and West region, the Co-operative Membership was headline supporter of Exeter’s leading diversity festival, Exeter Respect, held in early June.
The Respect festival is a two-day open air bonanza of music, food, arts and crafts celebrating all walks of life and all cultures, races and religions in the city. On site, there was a “Co-operative Village” consisting of a Membership trailer, a gazebo hosting the Family of Businesses and a mobile Co-operative Food store, selling sandwiches, drinks and ice-creams.
Chris Herries, Group Board Director, said: “It was a pleasure to work with our Family of Businesses at this event and be able to highlight our co-operative difference to many thousands of people over the weekend.”
The North West and North Midlands Region Co-operative Bank and Britannia branches are at present organising more than 30 coffee mornings for customers, members and staff with packs funded by the Area Committees. And this summer, one of the highlights for the Merseyside Area Committee will be their attendance at the Africa Oye Festival. This festival is a celebration of African culture from music to food that takes place in Sefton Park, Liverpool
The Festival will provide a unique opportunity for membership to showcase The Co-operative Credit Union Scheme to the local community, and committee members will be handing out own-brand Fairbourne Springs Water, which support water for water projects in Africa, and Fairtrade fruit to the festival goers from the Co-operative Trailer.
The Membership team in Scotland will soon be slapping on the midge repellent and hitting the road with the Membership Trailer attending a total of 11 Summer Festivals, kicking off with the Newmilns Agricultural Show within the magnificent setting of Loudoun Castle, and closing with the Wizard Music Festival near Peterhead. Working alongside colleagues from across our businesses, we’ll be bringing our unique co-operative message to a wide range of festival goers
The Welsh Membership team with support from the family of busineses will also be attending a number of events during the summer, including The Royal Welsh Show, Eisteddfod in Ebww Vale, Conway Feast and Cardiff Mardi Gras.
The Co-operative South East Membership team celebrates Fairtrade and spreads the Fairtrade message in a fun and interactive way. This year, there is an unprecedented level of almost 170 Fairtrade tastings in our food stores organised jointly by Membership and Food Retail.
In the North Region this summer, our Trailer Roadshow with our businesses will be attending 15 festivals, fairs or shows across the region.
North Region, Regional Food Operations Manager, Iain Hume said: “Over the course of this year we will support many shows and events across North Region, such as the Tall Ships at Hartlepool, The Bradford Mela and many more.
“For the late May Bank Holiday Monday, we were at the Northumberland Show which gave us the chance to work alongside our colleagues in Membership to engage with an audience of over 35,000 visitors. It was an opportunity to really showcase what we’re all about, to spread the word about our ethical retailing policies, Fairtrade and the role our farms play in our food business, not to mention signing up a few more members at the same time!”
He added: “Not just in North Region, but UK wide this is something our store colleagues and colleagues from our other businesses get a real benefit from, working alongside the Membership teams, they gain an enhanced knowledge of our culture, a real understanding of why we do things the way we do, and how we’re different from other big multiple retailers. At this time of year there are many shows which we encourage our store colleagues to assist with, to visit and see the event trailer, how it compares to other retailers at the show and also how our message differs from the others.”
• For further information about the Co-operative Group’s summer activities visit www.co-operative.coop/membership.
This article is sponsored by The Co-operative Group.