The ethics of the Penrith Co-operative Society can be described in these categories:
Co-operative values, ethics and principles
To understand our business it may help to understand what a co-operative is. The accepted definition of a co-operative is 'an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically owned enterprise'. In 1844, the Rochdale Pioneers set up their successful retail co-operative and gave us the basis for Co-operative Values and Principles that co-operatives follow today and sets us apart from other businesses.
The Co-operative Values that we subscribe to are:
- Democracy and equality
- Self-help and Self-Responsibility
- Equity and Solidarity
There are also the Co-operative Ethical Values that co-operators across the world believe in:
- Social Responsibility
- Caring for others
The Co-operative Principles that have been adopted by this Society are:
- Voluntary and open membership
- Democratic member control
- Member economic participation
- Autonomy and independence
- Education, training and information
- Co-operation among co-operatives
- Concern for the community
We stock a range of Fair Trade products - these provide a better price for producers in under-privileged countries.
As the Fairtrade Foundation says: "Our vision is of a world in which justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full potential".
Employees, Customers and Community
The Society believes that people are its key resource and that Co-operative principles and values require it to pursue equality of opportunity in employment.
It is therefore commited to the development of positive policies to promote equal opportunity in employment practice regardless of workers' sex, marital status, age, sexual orientation, disability, creed, colour, race or ethnic origin. This principle will apply in all conditions of work governed by the terms and conditions of employment and to recruitment, training, promotion and redundancy.
The Society serves the community through the supply of food and non-food items.
- To help those who have difficulty accessing our stores, we provide a free food delivery service within our area.
- In addition, we aim to make our stores accessible to all people who have a disability.
- We also provide community services at some of our stores, such as a Post Office, cash machine and recycling.
- We aim to purchase goods from local social enterprises.
- We support various community initiatives by making charitable donations.
We are keen to reduce our impact on the environment.
Our refurbished store at 19 Burrowgate Penrith features photo-voltaic solar panels on our roof to generate electricity.
We are currently aiming to reduce the number of plastic carrier bags given out, and provide alternatives for sale: a plastic Bag for Life and a Canvas shopping bag.
We sell a range of Organic produce, and also stock locally sourced items.