Its flagship store in Newcastle has been given a refit and a new slogan - ‘quality foods, ethically traded’ - has been introduced. A relaunch event for customers, suppliers and staff was held at the shop.
The co-operative of 16,000 members has two other stores in Nottingham and Leeds in line for a makeover next year, and there are plans to open further stores in the north and Midlands.
All products stocked have to meet at least one of four criteria - organic, fair trade, eco-friendly or local - and home delivery is offered in an eco-friendly van.
General manager Jon Walker said the relaunch was to raise the company’s profile and make customers aware of the type of products sold: “Our research told us that while many people supported our principles, they were not familiar with what we stood for.”
He said he was also pleased organic and fair trade products were becoming mainstream: “We welcome the role the supermarkets have in expanding the market, as long as they don’t compromise standards.”