Our democracy

Getting involved with your Co-op.

Co-op membership is about much more than just deals and rewards. Your membership is a share in the business. This means you can have a say in how it’s run, deciding on everything from the products we sell to the causes we support.

Your membership means you can:

  • vote on key business issues at the annual general meeting (AGM)
  • elect members like you to represent you on the members' council
  • join other members doing great things in local communities
  • stand for election yourself to get onto the member council, or as a member nominated director on the board.

Here's how our democracy works:

The members' council

Our 100-strong members' council is an elected body. It’s representatives are voted onto the council by the millions of members it represents, ensuring their voices and interests are heard at the highest level in our Co-op. The council is made up of:

  • members
  • colleague members
  • representatives from independent co-op societies

It acts as the guardian of the Co-op's purpose, values and principles, and the society’s constitution, with the power to hold the group board to account. Once elected, council members can serve a term of up to 3 years before requiring re-election.

The council senate

The senate has 15 members.

Senate members are elected from the council, by the council.

The senate helps to co-ordinate members' council activities and is the link between the members' council, the board, the executive and our members. It also represents the members' council in day-to-day dealings with the wider co-operative movement.

The council president

The president is elected by the members' council to represent and leads meetings of the council and senate, ensuring that both bodies are managed efficiently and effectively.

The president’s role keeps both bodies in line with our Co-op’s rules, values and principles, and wider goals and objectives.

The president is supported by two vice presidents – one focussing on business performance, the other on ethics.

Member nominated directors (MNDs)

The board is made up of 12 directors, of which 4 are member-nominated directors. Members who can show they have the relevant level of skills and experience can put themselves forward for election as an MND.