Retailer of the Year
Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, operating 2,600 food stores throughout the UK. With a store in every postal area from the Highlands to the Scilly Isles, Coop also provides products to over 5,100 other stores, including those run by independent co-operative societies and through its wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited. It works with nearly 4,000 farmers and suppliers from all over the UK to source its meat, poultry, dairy and fresh produce. The farmers and suppliers it works with adhere to strict standards in animal welfare.
Co-op only sources 100% British meat for its own fresh and frozen product brands and has proactively called on other retailers to follow suit and only stock 100% British meat, as the Co-op leads the way in supporting British. As part of a multimillion-pound investment in sourcing, it is doubling the number of local suppliers it works with as well as increasing the number of smaller businesses, extending young farmer programmes and expanding farming groups.
In 2016, the Co-op launched a progressive scheme to monitor and manage environmental impact and efficiency. Co-op is also the official sponsor of Love British Food, British Food Fortnight, and this year is its third year of supporting and endorsing this national campaign, educating consumers about the benefits of buying British, which echoes Co-op’s commitments to British food.
Rosebourne’s aim is to be recognised by consumers as a leading company in sourcing local produce in its restaurants and food halls, as well as lifestyle and garden retailing and offering advice, quality, ideas and high standards. It currently has three stores in Andover, Aldermaston and Solihull. It sources fresh local produce wherever possible, championing smaller, artisanal, independent producers, but if it needs to look further afield, it sources the food and groceries from UK producers, avoiding air miles from shipping items from overseas and reducing carbon footprint. It is also working towards becoming plastic-free in its stores.
Customers can taste a number of its locally sourced products in the restaurant and can then buy their favourites in the food hall. Where possible, the supplier’s name is mentioned in the restaurant menu to champion the producers it has so carefully selected. Quite simply, it buys British and promotes British farming and suppliers. Rosebourne believes its growing success is down to combining retail with leisure activity – it’s not just about shopping, it’s about creating an experience for the customer, so they can shop, dine and get advice on their plants and other product ranges.