Study into Holes Could Save Consumers Millions of Pounds

A study into how to make holes could save shoppers millions of pounds in wasted food.

After two years of intensive research a team of scientists has worked out precisely how large each hole in food packaging should be - and exactly where to place them - to make fresh produce last longer. 

The findings could have a dramatic effect across the entire fresh fruit and veg. industry, by extending the stay-fresh period of some products for up to two days.

The Co-operative Food’s technical expert, Iain Ferguson, said:

Co-operatives Fortnight campaign plan unveiled with praise

The campaign plan and materials for Co-operatives Fortnight (22 June to 6 July), the UK co-operative sector’s national campaign, have been unveiled to the co-operative and mutual sector.

Co-operatives Fortnight 2013 was formally announced at Co-operatives UK’s National Retail Consumer Conference in Solihull in late February. Delegates had the opportunity to pose with Fortnight props and see the materials for this year’s campaign.

Society in Battle for Turnover Growth

The immediate post Christmas period has proved challenging for most retailers, driven largely by the continuing economic malaise.

In the first five weeks of the 2013/14 financial year which ended on 2nd March, the Society has recorded “like for like” growth of £181,066 – 2.08%.

Commenting on the figures, Chief Executive Officer, Tony Gudgeon stated, “It isn’t a surprise that retailers such as ourselves are finding trading conditions difficult, consumers’ incomes in real terms continue to be under very severe pressure.

Members’ Visit – Lesotho

A suggestion has been made that a members’ visit be made to Lesotho in the near future, May or June being possible dates.

The purpose of the visit is partly goodwill but it will also be an opportunity to help the project in a number of practical ways.

The cost will be in the region of £1,700; if any member is interested, please contact Ellen Tredwin, Secretary.

Chief Executive Officer’s Retirement Date Agreed

Chief Executive Officer, Tony Gudgeon will retire on 4th May 2013, having served the Society for 15 years and the Movement for over 50 years.

Barry Wood will become Chief Executive Officer on 5th May 2013.

Society President, Pauline Dodd stated, “The Board and members are grateful to Tony for ensuring a smooth transition over to Barry and for his tremendous achievements in making Chelmsford Star the profitable and respected Co-operative it is today”.

Mr C Fegan

Members will be aware that former Director and member, Mr C Fegan had indicated his desire to pursue a number of grievances against the Society, and to seek resolution via independent and binding arbitration as per the Society’s rules.

The Society, at considerable cost, facilitated the request.  Mr Fegan has however, not complied with the requirements of the rules in the matter of paying certain monies and has also not complied with a request by the independent arbitrator to make a written submission within prescribed timescales.

Fairtrade Sales Continue to Grow

Fairtrade sales within Chelmsford Star have reached a new record in the financial year ended 26th January 2013.

Total sales amounted to £866,188, growth of 4.66%.

Head of Food, Stuart Hammond stated, “The past year has seen general food sales remain flat with many retailers reporting nil growth.

We are delighted with the commitment of our members and customers to Fairtrade because it is they who have made this impressive growth figure possible.”

Co-operative Energy Attracts 100,000 Customers In Less Than Two Years

Ethical energy supplier Co-operative Energy has reached 100,000 customers less than two years after entering the energy market.

Over one thousand customers are now joining every day and the business, which is based in Warwick and part of the Midcounties Co-operative, now employs a team of 80 staff.  The business is on target to break even in its second financial year.

Chelmsford Star Supports Winter Appeal

HUNDREDS of food parcels are to be distributed to elderly and vulnerable people through the Surviving Winter Appeal, thanks to the backing of the Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society.

The appeal has already given vital help to many people at risk during the winter months by distributing warm packs and making financial donations. Now the food packs will be an extra lifeline made possible through the appeal, which is being co-ordinated by local charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF) in partnership with the British Red Cross and Age UK Essex.