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Co-operative Wholesale Society” redirects here. For general information on organisations of this name, see Co-operative wholesale society. It is the largest consumer co-operative in the UK and owned by more than general price list funeral homes pdf million active members.


No year end dividend was paid in 2015. The Co-operative Group has over 70,000 employees across the UK. The group has headquarters in NOMA, Manchester on a listed eight-building estate which includes its head office One Angel Square, the CIS Tower, Hanover Building, New Century House and Redfern Building.

It introduced The Co-operative brand in 2007, which is used by many consumers’ co-operatives in the UK and managed by the group. It replaced this for its own businesses with a revitalised version of its late 1960s “Co-op” logo in 2016.

The business has long established itself as an ethical retailer, allowing women the same democratic rights within the society as men since its founding and was the first major UK retailer to champion Fairtrade. It has held the Fair Tax Mark since 2015. The Group’s roots are traced back to the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, established in 1844. The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers was based on the Rochdale Principles – which notably introduced the idea of distributing a share of profits according to purchases through a scheme which became to be known as “the divi”.

Although The Co-operative Group incorporates the original Rochdale Society, the business’ core for much of its history were its wholesale operations. This began in 1863 when the North of England Co-operative Wholesale Industrial and Provident Society Limited was launched in Manchester by 300 individual co-operatives in Yorkshire and Lancashire. The CWS grew rapidly and supplied produce to co-operative stores across England, though many co-ops only sourced around a third of their produce through the CWS. It was this continued and fierce competition with other non-co-operative wholesalers which led to the CWS becoming highly innovative.