Co-operatives in the Region

Co-operatives in Yorkshire and the Humber region

The co-operative and mutual sector in Yorkshire and the Humber region comprises a wide range of diverse businesses. It makes a substantial contribution to the region's economy ensuring that jobs and services are owned and controlled by local people. There are over 200 co-operatives in the region, with a turnover of £1,932 million. The Co-operative Group, the largest consumer co-operative in the world, operates hundreds of foodstores around the region and also runs pharmacies, travel agents, funeral homes, farms, legal services and several e-commerce sites. Other smaller community co-operatives in the region, such as Natural Food Store in Leeds, fulfil their role by providing an essential service to their local communities.

Co-operative Sector Turnover £m Total Employees No. of Organisations
Agriculture 115 162 19
 Financial  167  310  43
 Housing  2  23  25
 Other  174  1,853  128
 Retail  1,479  12, 230  12
 Region Total
 1,932  14,578  227

Regardless of whether a co-operative is large or small it is owned and controlled by its members with any profit (or surplus) after investment in the business being returned to the members or distributed by them within the local communities. CFS, which encompasses The Co-operative Bank and Co-operative Insurance, has long delivered trusted financial services. Yorkshire and the Humber's co-operative financial sector also includes a wealth of building societies, friendly societies and dozens of credit unions. Credit unions are financial co-operatives owned and controlled by their members. Each credit union has a "common bond" which determines who can join it. They offer savings and loans plus they are local, ethical and know what their members want.

Agricultural co-operatives such as Yorkshire Farmers Livestock Marketing Limited, worker co-operatives such as Suma wholefoods, housing co-operatives, community co-operatives, supporters trusts and many other co-operative organisations, make a substantial contribution to the region's economy and employment.

More than Profit

Co-operatives and mutuals are different from other businesses. They are organised solely to meet the needs of their member-owners. As well as financial success co-operatives and mutuals see the way they run their business as achieving an end in itself: to benefit their members, the communities they serve and the welfare of their employees.

Co-operatives are united by a shared set of values and guiding principles which influence how they do business and how they distribute their profits.

Co-operative Values and Principles