A co-operative also known as a co-op is a group of people working together to meet the common needs and goals of its members, sharing ownership and making decisions democratically. Unlike a privately-owned company, co-operatives are not about making big profits for shareholders, they exist to create value for customers. Since 1853 The Midcounties Co-operative has been providing quality produce at fair prices, as well as supporting community-led programmes for the good of local people by donating time and funds across the UK.
We strive 'to be a successful consumer co-operative working towards creating a better, fairer world and to enhance the lives of our colleagues, members, customers, and the communities we serve'. That means that we are an ambitious business guided by the co-operative values and principles to ensure that everything we do benefits our members and the wider community.
You may already know that here at Your Co-op Travel, we work alongside some amazing charity partners to raise money for incredible causes. We are very excited to announce our new partnership with the Go Beyond organisation. Go Beyond do some amazing work with children and young people aged from 8 -15 years old from challenging or vulnerable backgrounds.
Go Beyond offer both residential and day breaks of which include a variety of adventurous, imaginative, creative, and reflective experiences. Though these experiences the children can build skills, make new friends, try something new and make memories that last a lifetime.
We are passionate about our partnership and believe that Go Beyond aligns to the ethos and values of both the Your Co-op Travel group and the wider Your Co-op society.
For more information about Go Beyond we encourage you to have a look at their website https://www.gobeyond.org.uk/
Anyone can join the Midcounties Co-operative for just £1, and each member of the co-operative is given a voice. Democracy frames how our company works, meaning that every customer and every team members can influence our most important decisions.
A commitment to openness drives us to offer the right product to the right person, without restrictions or excuses. As one of the UK’s largest independent travel agents we take the hassle out of arranging your holiday, piecing together packages sourced from hundreds of different holiday providers. This helps us give you the best choice and the best possible deal.
Our equality policy means that we recognise the benefits and opportunities every individual can bring to the company and to British society itself. We also go further, because our unbeatable range of holiday providers lets us find travel experiences to suit every budget, every preference, and every taste.
Many companies claim to be socially responsible – but for co-operatives like us this goes further. Social responsibility is at the heart of our movement. It’s an everyday driving force for our business.
For example, we do not allow the sale of any captive marine animal attractions or any packages that include them, to be sold within our retail branches due to the conditions that they face.
You can read more about the Midcounties Co-operative society here.
Midcounties launched its first store in 1853 and there's been no stopping us since, but no matter how we grow our values of Democracy, Openness, Equality and Social Responsibility remain the same.
We're proud of our heritage, independence and our local roots - those are things that will never change. The Co-operative Movement has its roots in the 19th Century when the Industrial Revolution resulted in widespread exploitation and misery for many working people.
One particular form of exploitation that was common was the way many people found it difficult to obtain good quality food at a fair price.
The Rochdale Pioneers are credited with starting the first successful retail co-operative society in 1844, although there had been earlier attempts. The Pioneers opened a shop in Toad Lane, Rochdale selling unadulterated goods at reasonable prices to raise funds to create their own co-operative community. They also introduced a dividend that meant that all of its customers could become members of the Society and received a return in accordance with their expenditure.
By 1890, the efforts of ordinary men and women had forged a Movement of some 1,400 societies right across the century, with even more in Europe and elsewhere throughout the world. However, during the last century, the Co-operative Movement has undergone many changes in order to meet the challenge posed by multiple retailers, including combining to create larger and more efficient organisations.
Today, there are around 39 retail co-operative societies in the UK ranging in size from small 'one shop' societies to giants with sales of over £5 billion. Scroll through the timeline on the right or read more about our heritage on our main Society website.
Our team of travel experts are all extremely well-travelled and can offer advice based on first-hand knowledge of the many destinations they have visited.
As a Co-operative, we are fully independent and not tied to any individual tour operator and this means we are able to offer fully impartial recommendations to you for your next holiday.
After measured consideration and in line with our co-operative values, Your Co-op Travel does not endorse any attractions that include captive marine animals. We do not allow the sale of any captive marine animal attractions or any packages that include them, to be sold within our retail branches.
Captive marine mammals suffer from a huge range of health problems, including extreme stress, neurotic behaviours and abnormal levels of aggression. Bottlenose dolphins are six times more likely to die immediately after capture from the wild and transfer between facilities.
We’re a business based on four key values – Democracy, Openness, Equality & Social Responsibility. Where a product or service that we offer conflicts our values we are committed to ensuring that we react and reduce the impact as best we can control. Due to the conditions that captive marine animals face we will not support attractions that exploit them.
* Do Something Different
* Attraction World
Any supplier that may offer entrance tickets to experiences, attractions or parks with captive marine animals such as but not limited to:
* Discovery Cove
* Loro Parque/Park
* Atlantis Dolphin Encounter at Dolphin Bay
This include combo ticket sales that may include any such attraction, experience or park e.g.: Orlando Freedom Ticket™, which includes SeaWorld, or Disney and SeaWorld parks combo pass.
Please contact us if you require further clarification on this policy.
Regional Communities' is a focussed, measured approach to supporting communities in an identified geographical location where the society has a strong trading presence. Measured, with clear targets, Regional Communities is a programme that puts Midcounties at the very heart of the local life, ensuring that we are truly community owned, community led, and community rewarding.
Our colleagues and members work together to support local community projects that matter to those who work, live and learn in the local community.
The Midcounties Co-operative is one of only a handful of UK businesses to achieve a 5 star rating in Business in the Community’s annual benchmark of responsible business, the Corporate Responsibility Index (CR Index). We are proud to have achieved 99% against an average of 91% for our sustainability practices.
Find out more and learn how to apply for funding for your local community project here.
As a Society, our colleagues also receive an entitlement of up to three days each year to volunteer within their normal working hours.
We believe that volunteering gives our colleagues a fantastic opportunity to develop individually and as part of a team while making a real difference to their community. Colleagues taking part in our volunteer programme have participated in numerous activities – anything from painting a church hall, to supporting employability events or one-to-one mentoring for young people.
If you would like to find out more about the scheme and how our colleague volunteers can make a difference at your community group, or if you are interested in volunteering, click here (https://www.midcounties.coop/our-communities/volunteering/) to contact the Midcounties Community team.
As a co-operative we’re working towards a better, fairer world. Our Society is working to make a difference in a positive way to the lives of people, both in your community and throughout the world. For example, on a local level our stores over essential services and we support and fund local community projects. On a worldwide level, we continue to support a variety of initiatives including Fairtrade, ethical sourcing and caring for the environment.
All of our trading groups are doing their bit, with our Funeral Group introducing LpG fuels for some funeral vehicles to achieve reduced emissions and launching a range of environmentally friendly coffins. At our Childcare nurseries biodegradable nappies are used and children are taught the value of recycling and environmental awareness.
As you can imagine, producing numerous travel brochures creates waste. As part of The Midcounties Co-operative’s commitment to the environment we endeavour to recycle all our brochures and, wherever possible, send e-brochures to our customers to help reduce waste even further.
The Society was reaccredited for the second time with the fair tax mark in 2016 , which certifies that we pay the right amount of tax in the right place at the right time. This Tax Charter represents a formalisation of our approach on tax matters and reflects our outlook and values.
Within the overall framework set by the Charter, we believe it is fair that we look for ways to mitigate the Society’s tax bill to ensure we do not pay more tax than we need to.
However, our approach will always be based on a recognition that as a values led and ethical organisation we should pay the taxes we are due to pay and we should not engage in aggressive tax avoidance schemes, even if legal.
Click here to view our Tax Charter
As an organisation that is owned by its members, co-operation is central to our purpose. Our members have the opportunity to tell us what is important to them, and we listen to and act on their comments. Members decide what percentage of our profits are returned to the members and to the local community. The AGM and the regional half yearly members' meetings are a key way that members can have a say in the running of their Society. And of course members are encouraged to use their vote in the Society's annual elections in the autumn, when members like you contest places for the Society's Board of Directors.
The points you earn as a Midcounties Co-operative member are converted into a share of the profits, the value of which is approved by members at our members’ meetings. From childcare and energy to healthcare and travel, being a Midcounties Co-operative member ensures that you enjoy a range of benefits across all our business areas. When you join the Member Travel Club, you now receive 1 point for every £2 spent, giving you 5 times more value than before!
You can find a breakdown of how to earn points and our current rewards here.
Being a member of The Midcounties Co-operative offers you the opportunity to earn membership points when you trade with us.
By joining our Member Travel Club, which is exclusive to Midcounties Co-operative members, you will also gain access to exclusive travel benefits including discounts, rewards, VIP rates on travel money, and extra points.