Community Blog
Much more than a shop

But what even is a Co-op, anyway?

27 June 2022

When you mention a Co-op, it’s very likely that the first thing which comes to mind is the convenience shops and supermarkets that we have all come to know and recognise.

Yet, this is just one part of a whole Co-operative pie. A Co-op can be any business, whether that is a healthcare centre or a bank, a social community hub or a chain of small cafés – a Co-op is a business which is owned and controlled by its Members. 

It means that everyone who becomes a member has a vested interest (a share, you might call it) in the business. In having a share, you also are entitled to your views and a say in how the business operates, and how profits are shared.

Above all, what makes a Co-op unique is the values that it follows:

Fair enough that a co-operative business says that it puts purpose over profit, or that it exists for its Members. But, what truly matters is seeing these values in action.

It’s time to #UnwrapCoops and learn the real differences they are achieving for our Members.

No huge air miles, just lots of smiles

When you shop with us, you’re choosing to support local. That’s because we are one of the largest local retailers of island-based producers.

By buying locally, you’re also ensuring that you are supporting your local economy, helping local islanders to work and be in paid employment, and helping a local business.

That is a good reason to smile.

Proudly local

Speaking of locality, we are proud to work alongside some of the finest local producers and growers in the Channel Islands. Nothing can quite beat the quality and assurance that comes from local produce grown right here in our islands.

It is why we have proudly worked with almost sixty local suppliers from across Jersey and Guernsey; from freshly made bakery to perfectly picked fruit or veg, from alcohol brewed with homegrown ingredients to hand reared butchery and dairy.

All in all, we’ve spent £9.9 million in our local producers. A true mark of assurance and trust in our local partners.

Share and share alike

It’s good when everyone gets a fair and equal share, whether that’s a slice of pie or a share of profits. Everyone’s a winner.

For example, if you become a Member of your Channel Islands Co-op, you earn 4% dividend back every time you shop. That means the more you shop, the greater your share. In 2021, that equated to around £5.5m in profits being returned back to our Members.

There aren’t many places where you can earn 4% back in shares each time you pop in for the everyday essentials.

A lot of ‘dough’ for our community

Co-op’s are by definition a business run through co-operation. That is, the co-operation between local people and members, just like you. It is thanks to this that Co-op’s can naturally put purpose before profit and exist to serve their communities.

We are driven by the seeing the results of co-operation with our Members in making a real difference in our community through our support of local charities and causes.

With your help, we are able to reach and help more community projects and charities in our islands to go further and continue the great work that they do every day.

But we couldn’t achieve anything without our Members choosing to shop with their Co-op, and contributing to the positive links we have with our communities.

You got the power

Above all, our Members of our Co-op have the power to make real changes. That’s because as a Member of our Co-op, you have co-ownership of our business and a right to decide on the topics that should matter to our organisation.

Your voice and views matter to us. They always have and always will.

By working together, we can make real difference in our islands. Whether it’s about accessibility or share accounts, thoughts on food poverty or reducing our carbon footprint, you have the power to help us to make real changes.

Be a part of your Co-op today

More than just a shop, why not join and be a part of your local Co-op today?

You just need to be over 16 years old, a resident in the Channel Islands, and have just £1 to open a Share account with us.

Become a member today and save as you spend with dividend.