Central Co-op Showcases ‘Altogether Different’ Way of Doing Business this Co-op Fortnight

Posted by sam bishop | Published: 19/06/2023

Central Co-op is always keen to collaborate and cooperate with communities and fellow co-ops, and this is why it is embracing the theme of this year’s Co-op Fortnight, starting today. This year’s event is all about showing how co‑operatives offer an altogether different way to do business; to support communities; and to support people, which is at the heart of everything Central Co-op does. 

Last year saw the launch of Our Malawi Partnership, on the 100th International Day of Co-operatives. The initiative supports farmers and producers in Malawi, improving livelihoods and helping strengthen trading capacity. In the spirit of Co-op Principle 6, Central Co-op is working in partnership with other Co-ops to deliver the Our Malawi Partnership initiative and worked with Creative Co-op to create the microsite for the partnership, while also collaborating closely with Co-op College to support the Malawian Federation of Cooperatives too (MAFECO). 

One farmer being supported is Wellington Kapakasa, a member of the Chikwatula Macadameia Co-operative Society Limited in the Ntchisi district in Malawi. Wellington has 5 years’ experience in Macadamia farming and owns four acres of land planted with 840 macadamia trees. His greatest challenge is climate change resulting in unstable weather conditions impacting on Macadamia production. Pest and diseases also affect productivity with associated high costs of Macadamia seedling replacement.  

Macadamia farming has enabled Wellington to purchase essentials such as a 3-ton truck, twelve goats and three cows. He now hopes to build a warehouse to manage his harvests more efficiently. 

Co-op Fortnight also lands alongside new additions to the range for Our Malawi Partnership, like Malawian Bird’s Eye Chilli Grinders, along with Chilli & Garlic Grinders and Smokey Chilli Grinders. Customers and Members can find products from Our Malawi Partnership on the tables in-store, highlighting products like nuts, coffee, rice, tea, and more.  

This Co-op Fortnight also brings 20% off selected Co-op wines in stores, celebrating the Fairtrade wines that give back to the communities, as a part of Central Co-op's purpose of creating a sustainable Society for all, wherever they may be. 

Last week Central Co-op representatives attended the Co-op Congress event in Manchester to talk about Our Malawi Partnership in a workshop, in which outgoing president Jane Avery talked about her recent trip to Malawi. As the climate emergency is arguably the greatest issue facing society today, Chief Executive Debbie Robinson also shared how co-operatives are taking collective action to respond to the impacts of climate change. 

Earlier this month Central Co-op revealed the extension of Member pricing yet again, after extending the range in February to over 100 items, continuing to discount over 100 items into summer. These are all Co-op items, showcasing the best of Co-op products to Members as the Society continues to invest in Member value.   

For further details, head to the Central Co-op website, Facebook, and Twitter. Details on becoming a Member can be found on the Membership site


About Central Co-op 

Central Co-op is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK, with a heritage stretching back over 175 years and interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.  

Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its 7,700 colleagues serve customers across 440 plus trading sites in 21 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.   

Its purpose is to create a sustainable Society for all.   

It actively campaigns for food justice and works with FareShare Midlands and a network of local food banks. It also adds £1 to every Healthy Start Voucher redeemed in store and supports six schools in partnership with Magic Breakfasts. 

The Society embraces inclusivity and equality and is a signed-up member to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter. The Society is also a member of Diversity in Retail and it is fully committed to addressing the impacts of climate change by reducing carbon and food waste, increasing recycling and investment in community Sustainable Spaces funded by the carrier bag levy. It recently launched its Malawi Partnership to support farmers and producers in the country through the Co-operative International Trading Development Fund.  

It invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities through its Community Dividend Fund scheme which has seen over £109,769.25 shared out between 121 good causes in 2022. 

Press office contact: Sam Bishop, PR Specialist  

Contact details:   


07385 048048