East of England Co-operative announces £3.1m dividend payment

Members of the East of England Co-operative will receive a share of the £3.1m dividend payment approved at the society’s annual general meeting on 9 May. The co-operative,...

Members of the East of England Co-operative will receive a share of the £3.1m dividend payment approved at the society’s annual general meeting on 9 May.

The co-operative, which counts on over 200,000 members has managed to assure a dividend for its members in spite of tough trading conditions. Those eligible for a dividend will receive their payment by post starting this month.

The £3.1m dividend payment represents a slight decrease from last year’s £3.5m, which relates to a decrease in qualifying purchases. This year’s dividend represents 2% of each member’s qualifying purchases (2.1% in 2014).

Commenting on the announcement of the dividend, Minnie Moll, executive officer – membership, marketing and media for the East of England Co-op, said:  “As a co-operative, one of the things that differentiates us from other businesses is that we’re owned by our members – not big shareholders. Because of this our members are at the heart of all we do.

“We are delighted once again to be sharing our continued profitability with our membership through this year’s dividend.”

As well as receiving a dividend, members can have a say about how the society supports their local community. “We’ve recently rolled out a token scheme across all our food stores, so when members shop with us they can pick one of three local community projects; the more tokens received the larger the donation made to that project,” said Ms Moll. “By the end the year our members will have helped us to invest £80,000 in community projects across our region.”

The AGM also featured an election of board directors. Mary Blacksell, Graham Bober and Gillian Bober stepped down as directors, retiring after having been active in the movement for decades.

Nineteen candidates contested six available places. Three new directors were appointed: Emma Howard, Claire Johnsen and Steve Shaw, while existing directors Phil Hartwell, Tereza Scrogie, and Celia Moore were re-elected to the board.

Mary Blacksell has been with the Ipswich and Norwich Society for 45 years, representing members first on the member education committee and then on the board of directors from 1994. A retired health administrator, she has showed a particular interest in the society’s pharmacy business.

Another long-standing member of the movement, Gillian Bober has been engaged with co-ops for 35 years. Ms Bober originally served with the Colchester Society before its merger, and had the distinction of being elected in 1977 as its youngest ever director. She was also elected chair of the National Executive of the NCEA, and as a foundation governor of the Co-op College Board of Management.

Graham Bober was previously a director of the Colchester and East Essex Society and served as its vice president and president. He was also a member of the Merger Panel, which recommended the creation of the East of England Co-operative Society. Later, he became the vice president of the new society. He served on the National Governance Committee, which introduced the Code of Best Practice for all co-operative societies. This Code is considered an exemplar for good governance and is followed at East of England.

In this article

Join the Conversation