Co-op develops a fully biodegradable paper tea bag

Co-op develops a fully biodegradable paper tea bag

 

MANCHESTER, UK, 2018-Jan-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Co-op is brewing up a fully biodegradable paper tea bag, making it the first retailer to find a solution to the problem of plastic waste caused by the nation’s favourite beverage.

The convenience retailer’s famous own-brand 99 tea will be developed without polypropylene, which is an industry-wide method used to enable teabags to hold their shape. The move could save nine tonnes of plastic every year from being dumped into household rubbish and compost collections.

The Co-op, which sells around 4.6 million boxes of tea annually (around 367 million teabags) has joined forces with its tea supplier, Typhoo, and Ahlstrom-Munksjö, specialists in sustainable fibre solutions, to develop the new method of heat sealing bags which will eliminate the use of the more widely-used plastic seal.

The new bio-degradable bag which is due to undergoing rigorous testing in February, could be on shelves later this year. Intended to be rolled out across the Co-op’s entire own-label standard tea range, it will be fully compostable in food waste collections after use.

Jo Whitfield, CEO, Co-op Food, said: “Many tea drinkers are blissfully unaware that the teabag from their daily cuppa is sealed using plastic. Even though it’s a relatively small amount, when you consider the six billion cups of tea that are brewed up every year in the UK, we are looking at around 150 tonnes of polypropylene – that’s an enormous amount of accumulated plastic waste that is either contaminating food waste compost collections or simply going to landfill.

“A cup of tea is part of our national psyche, so we felt it was imperative that we fix the problem as soon as possible. We’re absolutely committed to reducing plastic in our packaging and want to ensure that tea lovers can enjoy a guilt-free brew.”

The Co-op is dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of its products and has a long-term ambition for 100% of its product packaging to be recyclable with an interim target of 80% by 2020. This includes reducing the use of unnecessary and hard-to-recycle plastic packaging and using more recycled content wherever possible.

Contact:

Craig Noonan
Head of Retail PR
Email: craig.noonan@coop.co.uk
Landline: 0161 6924284
Mobile: 07702 505 439

Source: Coop

###

The Co-op to open 100 new food stores across the UK in 2018

MANCHESTER, UK, 2018-Jan-02 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Co-op has confirmed plans to open 100 new food stores across the UK in 2018, creating an estimated 1,600 jobs.

The community retailer will invest over £160 million in new stores and major makeovers for a further 150 of its outlets.

More than 20 new stores are set to open in London, and up to 18 stores are planned for Scotland including: stores in Glasgow; Edinburgh; Forres (Highlands) and Kilmacolm (Renfewshire).

Rhayader (Powys) and Bryncoch (Neath) will be the first of ten new stores which are set to open in Wales. While other new stores are lined up for Blackpool; Bristol; Chesterfield; Crewe; Leicester; Manchester; Nottingham; Plymouth; Southampton and York among other towns and cities.

The news follows twin announcements last month as the Co-op confirmed it had reached an agreement to become exclusive wholesale supplier to the 2,200 stores across the Costcutter Supermarkets Group network from spring 2018. While members of Nisa Retail also voted in favour of the Co-op’s offer to buy the delivered wholesale and convenience retail specialist, a move which is conditional on Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) approval.

Jo Whitfield, Chief Executive of Co-op Food said: “The Co-op is positively responding to the changes occurring within this dynamic sector. Our Food business is going from strength to strength in what is clearly a challenging retail market. We have the ambition for our stores to be at the heart of local life, bringing communities together and offering our Members and customers great quality products when and where they need them.”

Stuart Hookins, Co-op’s Director of Portfolio and Development, said: “The Co-op’s extensive acquisitions and refit programme is a fundamental part of our food strategy. Moving forward with a clear purpose and momentum, our expansion plans for 2018 will mean that the Co-op is on track to have opened at least 100 new stores in each of three consecutive years. With over one million new active Members joining us in the last year, we are always looking for new locations to get closer to where our Members and customers live and work and to meet their shopping needs conveniently. Our Members are now telling us where they would like to see a new Co-op store opening to serve their community through our suggest-a-site website.”

The new-look stores will see the Co-op – which this year won the title of Convenience Retailer of the Year in the Retail Industry Awards – focus on offering a wide range of fresh, healthy foods, meal ideas and essentials, alongside increased ranges of own-brand and locally-sourced produce.

The Co-op– which has reverted to its iconic “clover-leaf” design log, first used in the 1960’s – also brings a funding boost to good causes at each of its stores. Members receive a 5% reward when they buy own-brand products and services and, the Co-op donates a further 1% to local community groups. This year (2017), the Co-op shared £20M with around 8,000 local groups, charities and good causes who make a difference to community life.

Co-op Members can say where they would like to see a new store opening to serve their community by visiting: https://www.coop.co.uk/forms/suggest-a-site

< ends >

Andrew Torr
Co-op Press Office
M: 07702 505 551
E: andrew.torr@coop.co.uk

SOURCE: Co-operative Group Limited

Co-op become the exclusive wholesale supplier to Costcutter Supermarkets Group

MANCHESTER, UK, 2017-Dec-01 — /EPR Retail News/ — Following the recent announcement concerning Palmer and Harvey (P&H), The Co-op and Costcutter Supermarkets Group (CSG) have today (29 November) confirmed an agreement that will see Co-op become the exclusive wholesale supplier to CSG and the 2,200 Costcutter, Mace, Simply Fresh, Supershop and kwiksave convenience stores across its network from Spring 2018.

The deal will also provide the opportunity for CSG’s independent retailers to become Co-op franchisees.

Given the unexpected P&H announcement, The Co-op has also confirmed that it is looking at practical short-term ways it can support independent retailers within CSG, as part of a wider industry response, until the formal agreement begins in Spring 2018.

Commenting Darcy Willson-Rymer, CEO of Costcutter Supermarkets Group said

“With P&H no longer able to supply our stores, we have activated our contingency plans that will see our retailers supported by the Co-op and other suppliers in the run up to our deal with the Co-op.”

Commenting Jo Whitfield, Chief Executive of Co-op Food said:

“We are operating in a dynamic market environment and this deal, coming shortly after our Nisa announcement, shows how we are positively responding to the changes occurring within the sector.

“Our Food business is going from strength to strength in what is clearly a challenging retail market. We recently reported our 14th consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales growth and this agreement will further strengthen our ability to offer customers great products at great prices.

“Whilst our deal with Costcutter will start formally in Spring 2018 we are looking at practical ways we can support independent retailers during this busy trading period, in light of the news concerning P&H. It is essential that we maintain a strong independent retail sector and the Co-op is committed to playing its part, along with others in the industry, in ensuring this occurs.”

About the Co-op Group

The Co-op, one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance, electrical and legal services, has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-opGroup operates 2,500 food stores and over 1,000 funeral homes, with more than 69,000 employees and an annual turnover of over £9.5 billion.

The Co-op provides wholesale services to 15 independent co operative societies, as well as its own estate of 2,500 stores across the UK.

About Costcutter Supermarkets Group

Costcutter Supermarkets Group is part of Bibby Line Group, a diverse and forward-looking family business delivering personal, responsive and flexible customer solutions for over 200 years. Costcutter Supermarkets Group operates a network of 2,200 convenience stores across the UK through the Costcutter, Mace, Simply Fresh, kwiksave and Supershop brands. The majority of the stores are owned and operated by independent retailers. Bibby Line Group is a £1.4 billion business, operating in more than 20 countries, employing over 4,500 people in industries including retail, offshore, financial services, distribution, shipping, marine based businesses, plant hire and woodland burials.

For more information please contact:

The Co-op Group
Jon Church
07545 210 812

Russ Brady
07880 784 442

Costcutter MCG
(Sophie Hayes & Ellie Bottomley)
0113 307 0113

Source: Coop uk

Nisa Retail members vote in favour of the Co-op Group’s offer to buy 100% of the business

MANCHESTER, UK, 2017-Nov-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Nisa Retail, the delivered wholesaler and convenience retail specialist, is pleased to announce that its members have voted significantly in favour of the Co-op Group’s offer to buy 100 pct of the business for up to £137.5m.

At the Court Meeting of the members held at Elland Road, Leeds, earlier today members voted 75.79% in favour and 24.21% against the Co-op’s offer. The offer requires clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority, which is expected around the end of March next year.

Nisa Chairman Peter Hartley said:

“We are delighted that our members have chosen in such significant numbers to vote in favour of Co-op’s offer. We as a Board are firm in our belief that a combination with the Co-op is in the best interests of Nisa’s members. The convenience store environment is changing rapidly, and is unrecognizable from that which existed when Nisa was founded more than 40 years ago. Co-op will add buying power and product range to our offering, while respecting our culture of independence.”

Jo Whitfield, CEO Co-op Food said:

“We are delighted that Nisa members have supported our offer and our ambition to create a stronger member-led presence within the UK convenience sector. Together Co-op and Nisa can go from strength to strength, serving customers up and down the country and creating real value for them in their communities. Our offer remains conditional on CMA approval and we remain in discussions with them.”

Nisa shareholders will receive an equal initial payment, a deferred share payment payable over 3 years, as well as additional rebates payable over 4 years.

Along with taking on the existing Nisa debt of £105m, the combination is expected to bring significant immediate and long-term benefits for Nisa members including access to greater scale, the Co-op’s award-winning range and own label proposition. Members will still enjoy the independence to operate their stores as they wish, and will be able to remain part of a member-owned organisation within the growing UK convenience retail sector. In October 2017, Nisa reported a positive H1 trading for the 26 weeks to 1 October 2017, with total sales up 12.4% to £728m on the comparable period.

In June, the business also announced that it had completed the £120m refinancing of its debt facilities, providing longer term, cheaper, and more flexible capital for Nisa to further invest in growth over the next three to five years.

Notes to the editor:

About Nisa Retail Limited

Nisa is a unique member owned organisation, helping independent retailers remain competitive in the food and drink markets. With the retail sector being largely dominated by the multiples, Nisa’s objective is to create benefit, including negotiating the best deals on products, to allow its members to compete effectively. Nisa supports nearly 1,200 local retailers and more than 3,200 stores across the UK. Some operate under the Nisa brand and others under their own names. Nisa supplies the stock they need and the retail support that helps them to grow their business. In the year ending 2 April 2017, Nisa’s revenue was £1.252bn. EBITDA was £8.6m and profit before tax was £2.8m.

About the Co-op Group

The Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, with interests spanning food, funerals, insurance, electrical and legal services. It has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by over 4.5 million members, the Co-ophas 3,800 outlets in communities across the UK. It employs around 69,000 people and has an annual turnover of over £9.5 billion.

Enquiries:
Temple Bar Advisory (PR adviser to Nisa)
nisa@templebaradvisory.com
0207 002 1486

Tom Allison
07789 998 020

Ed Orlebar
07738 724 630

The Co-op Group:
Jon Church
07545 210 812

Russ Brady
07880 784 442

Source: Co-op Group

Co-op becomes the first national retailer to switch all fresh meat which bears its name to British

MANCHESTER, England, 2017-May-04 — /EPR Retail News/ — Meat imports into the UK have doubled over the last 20 years, according to new research by the Co-op. It comes the week that the convenience retailer announced it will become the first national retailer to switch all of the fresh meat which bears its name to British. The Co-op has called on more supermarkets and food service providers to back home-grown goods.**

Since 1996, the quantity of meat coming to the UK from the European Union and other countries has soared from £3bn to £6.2bn. More than £5bn worth of meat is now shipped from European Union member states while Asia and Oceania countries account for £804m worth of imports followed by Latin America at £345m.

Asian and Oceanic imports have seen their exports to the UK almost treble from £304m in 1996. The biggest imports from that region come from Thailand (£423m) and New Zealand (£291m).

Ireland is the biggest beneficiary of EU meat trade with the UK, with £1.45bn of meat arriving in the UK from across the Irish Sea.

From today, Co-op stores will provide only 100% fresh British bacon and lamb – dropping Danish bacon and New Zealand lamb. Almost a tenth of all meat imports into the UK come from Denmark, which exports £550m worth of meat into Britain each year while New Zealand lamb accounts for £291m worth of UK imports.

The Co-op already only sells British beef, chicken, ham, pork, sausages, duck and turkey and only uses British meat in all its own-label chilled ready meals, pies and sandwiches***.

Jo Whitfield, Retail Chief Executive, Co-op, said: “British consumers will be shocked to see how meat imports have grown while at the same time retailers hang out the bunting and claim to back British farmers. Only the Co-op offers 100% British fresh meat all year round and not just in the meat cabinet but also in our sandwiches, our pies and our ready meals.

“We can do this because we’re owned by members not shareholders and can invest long-term in what matters to communities, not what provides the fastest shareholder return. I call on other retailers and food providers to do more to help our farmers, particularly as they head towards uncertain times.”

Zoe Davies, Chief Executive, National Pig Association, said: “Around half of the pork consumed in the UK is imported. Fluctuating currency markets and imports which are cheaper because of lower welfare standards can significantly impact the cost of home produced pork, making it harder for farmers to make a living.

“We call on more retailers and food providers to back British and either source more UK pork or follow the Co-op’s lead and go 100% British.”

Meat imports by UK firms are up from £5.87bn in 2015 to £6.21bn in 2016. They have risen by a third since 2006, when they totalled £4.7bn.

Co-op launches a £10m campaign this week focusing on the benefits of sourcing from British local farmers. Full-page prints ads will appear in national newspapers while a TV campaign airs later.

Media Contact:

Andrew Torr
Co-op Press Office
M: 07702 505 551
E: andrew.torr@co-op.co.uk

Source: Coop

The Co-Op To launch a Wide-reaching food redistribution scheme across the UK

MANCHESTER, England, 2017-Apr-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Co-op will this week launch a wide-reaching food redistribution scheme, supporting the 2,500 towns and villages and every postal area across the UK where the business has stores.

The new initiative is expected to redistribute enough food for 20 million meals to over 2,500 different good causes, the largest number of beneficiaries of any scheme operated by a UK convenience retailer.

After an initial trial at 60 stores, a roll out across all stores will result in the Co-op donating up to 8,500 tonnes of food a year.

Jo Whitfield, interim Retail Chief Executive, Co-op, explained how the scheme will work:
“Each of our stores will team up with local charities and good causes in their area, ensuring food donated from our stores directly benefits the communities in which we work. The food will be collected on a regular basis, helping those closest to home.

“Not only will this support local groups, but it will also dramatically reduce our food waste, as we work towards our ambition that no food fit for consumption goes to waste.”

The Co-op already works with FareShare to redistribute food from its depots, and in 2016 redistributed enough food to make more than one million meals, in the process helping more than a thousand local groups and charities.

Media Contact:

Craig Brownsell
Press & Media Manager
0161 692 4283
07843 648467
craig.brownsell@coop.co.uk
coop.co.uk

Source: Co-op