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Co-op Group Leak: £2bn+ loss, Disposal of Farms and Pharmacy

Press Reports

Disposal of Farms & Pharmacy,
a £2bn+ loss, and upto 5,000
jobs losses proposed


Members will no doubt have seen articles in the press (including that from Robert Peston, BBC) detailing information leaked from the Co-operative Group regarding the forthcoming financial results and disposal of Farms and Pharmacy.

£2bn+ Loss
NACO is shocked by the size of the £2bn+ loss now expected to be announced on March 26th. We are greatly saddened that the business would consider disposing of the Farms business, which has been in co-operative ownership for over 100 years, and the Pharmacy business which operates as the third largest pharmacy business in the UK, with 774 branches nationwide.

Urgent Talks - Impact on Members
As the recognised trade union for managers throughout the Co-operative Group, NACO is seeking urgent talks with the business regarding the impact to colleagues in the Farms and Pharmacy businesses, and to the wider NACO population. Given that Peston's article references between 4-5,000 job losses in the coming three years we are extremely fearful for the future of many of our members across the business.

Robert Peston's article details a source at the Co-operative Group as saying:

"We worry that the board is exaggerating the scale of the crisis, including losses, to turn the Co-op into much more of a conventional business, and move it away from its democratic and ethical roots,"

NACO urges the Co-operative Group Board, Regional Boards, and members of Area Committees to give very serious consideration to the long term implications of any decision which sees the Co-operative disposing of vitally important businesses. The effects of these decisions will have a great and long lasting impact on the future of the Co-operative Group as the country's largest member-owned organisation, to the communities served by these businesses, and to the committed colleagues working tirelessly for the betterment of the Society.

We understand that this news will come as a blow to many members and their families. Whilst we cannot provide any assurances at present NACO is committed to maintaining good communication with all members. 

As details of the proposed strategy become clearer, NACO will provide all members with as much information as possible and will be looking to consult with members to understand their views and concerns.

Members concerned by today's news are urged to contact NACO and speak with an Official by contacting the NACO National Office