The Co-operative group launches a further drive for member directors

November 23, 2015

The Co-operative Group has today launched a recruitment drive among its millions of members to identify potential Directors for its main Group Board.

The appointment of up to two* Member Nominated Directors (MNDs) is an important step in further strengthening the Board under The Co-op’s new governance structure. Under this framework, the Board is working closely with the Senate and Members’ Council to ensure a strong member voice is heard throughout the organisation.

The call comes at a time of significant momentum at The Co-op, whether that’s within its business areas including Food, Funeralcare and General Insurance, or through the work that will bring to life the Group’s purpose of “Championing a better way of doing business for you and your community.”

Since the first three MNDs were appointed at the Group’s Annual Meeting in May this year, The Co-op has continued to outperform the market in its growing Food business, while also introducing a significant pay increase of 8.5% for food store colleagues. The Co-op has also begun to implement a compelling new strategy for its General Insurance business and launched a major new campaign to tackle loneliness and isolation in the UK.

The MND role presents members with a unique opportunity to join an experienced and high calibre Board, committed to ensuring that one of the world’s largest consumer co-ops continues to deliver on its exciting plans for the future. The criteria for MNDs stipulate that they should be:

  • Commercially minded with the ability to rigorously hold the Executive management team to account for the Group’s financial and trading performance
  • Committed to upholding Co-operative Values and Principles and how they should and can be applied in a large-scale commercial enterprise 

Allan Leighton, Chair of the Board said:

“We now have a highly experienced Board in place and we are already seeing the benefits of this translate through into the performance and strategic direction of our business. This is a fantastic opportunity for Co-op members to make their contribution felt in the Boardroom, ensuring our co operative values and principles are woven into the fabric of the commercially and socially motivated decisions we make.”

Nick Crofts, President of the Members’ Council said:

“We have an excellent Board in place which is committed to working with the Members’ Council to deliver a stronger, more co-operative business for our members and their communities. Our Member Nominated Directors have done a fantastic job this year in ensuring that member thinking lies firmly within our decision making process. This is a fabulous opportunity for our members to maintain this momentum and play a vital role in shaping the future of our iconic business."

Candidates can find information on how to apply at The Co-op’s website www.co-operative.coop/elections and have until 4 January to put themselves forward.

For more information please contact:

  • Russ Brady 07880 784 442
  • Chris Sonne 07770 544721

Notes to Editors


*There are currently three Member Nominated Directors serving on the Board and one of those seats is up for election at the AGM in May. Subject to a Rule change being approved by members at the AGM, a fourth Member Nominated Director seat will be added to the Board. It is planned for the additional seat to be filled through the election process.

Nominations criteria for MNDs for Group Board

The member must have been an Individual Member for at least three years immediately prior to the end of the preceding Financial Year and can self-nominate.

The member must meet the trading requirements set out below as at the end of the preceding Financial Year.

The member is shown in the records of the Group to have recorded spend equivalent to at least 1,000 membership points over the immediately preceding 12 months in one or more of the following businesses:

  • The Co-operative Food
  • The Co-operative Travel
  • E-store
  • The Co-operative Insurance
  • The Co-operative Funeralcare
  • The Co-operative Legal Services
  • The Co-operative Bank p.l.c.,

At least 500 membership points must have been earned through spend in a wholly-owned business of the Group (i.e. one or more of: The Co-operative Food, E-store, The Co operative Insurance, The Co-operative Funeralcare or The Co-operative Legal Services).

Group Board

The Group Board is responsible for determining the strategy for The Group, consistent with the Purpose and the Values and Principles and meeting the needs of its members and hold the Executive to account in the performance of its duties.

The Group Board comprises of a majority of Independent Directors.  This includes; an Independent Chair, five Independent Non-Executive Directors, two Executive Directors, including the Group Chief Executive and three Member Nominated Directors (increasing to four subject to the approval of a Rule change at the AGM in May).

All Board Directors will be expected to meet the high standards of competence in line with the needs of a business of the scale and complexity of the Group and a demonstrated commitment to Co operative Values and Principles.

Find out more about the Group Board