Our Malawi Partnership from Central Co-op Grows its Range Ahead of Co-op Fortnight

Posted by sam bishop | Published: 07/06/2023

With Co-op Fortnight fast approaching on the 19th June to 2nd July, Central Co-op reacts to this year’s theme ‘an altogether different way to do business’ by sharing the ways in which the Society stands out from the crowd in support of its communities and fellow Co-ops. 

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). 

The Society has recently expanded the product offering for Our Malawi Partnership by introducing Malawian Bird’s Eye Chilli Grinders, along with Chilli & Garlic Grinders and Smokey Chilli Grinders. These can now be found in stores to add extra flavour, and the birdseye chillies in the spice mix have been sourced directly from smallholder farmers in Malawi. To make them even better, the grinders are refillable, reusable, and recyclable. 

At the annual Co-op Congress event in Manchester on 16th and 17th June, Central Co-op will be hosting a workshop looking back over the last year of Our Malawi Partnership, sharing knowledge with other co-operatives and inviting them to join in with the Malawi initiative. Outgoing Society President Jane Avery will also share her reflections from her recent trip to Malawi. Care for the community is a Co-operative guiding principle, and as the climate emergency is arguably the greatest issue facing society today, Chief Executive Debbie Robinson will be sharing how co-operatives are taking collective action to respond to the impacts of climate change. 

This Co-op Fortnight also sees 20% off selected Co-op wines in stores from 19th June, celebrating the Fairtrade wines that give back to the communities who produce them, and all the great products from Our Malawi Partnership will be highlighted in store.  

Central Co-op's Member & Community Relations Officers are at the heart of communities, and they are showcasing the power of cooperation with several events collaborating with local groups throughout Co-op Fortnight. These include delivering a healthy choices workshop to Our Ladies Catholic School in Corby on 20th June; volunteering for litter picking in Milfield on 23rd June; revisiting the site of Saffron Brook in Leicestershire to maintain the area on 29th June; and much more.  

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