The Co-operative Group, also known as the Co-op, is a British consumer co-operative with a diverse range of businesses. It is owned by over 4 million members and operates across various sectors including food retail, funeral care, legal services, insurance, and energy.
The Co-op's roots date back to the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, which was established in 1844 in Rochdale, England. This society was the world's first successful co-operative and set out the principles of the modern co-operative movement.
The Co-op's food retail business is one of the largest in the UK, with over 2,500 stores and employing over 60,000 people. It prides itself on its ethical sourcing and commitment to sustainability, including its pioneering work on Fairtrade and commitment to reducing plastic waste.
The Co-op also operates one of the largest funeral care businesses in the UK, with over 1,000 funeral homes and a focus on providing affordable, respectful and personal services.
In addition to its commercial activities, the Co-op is also involved in a range of community and charity initiatives. The Co-op Foundation, for example, supports disadvantaged communities through grants and partnerships, while the Co-op's membership scheme allows members to donate a percentage of their purchases to local causes.
Overall, the Co-operative Group is a well-established and respected brand in the UK, known for its commitment to ethical and sustainable business practices and its focus on community and social responsibility.