Press release

More co-operatives sign-up as the fair tax movement grows

Radstock with Fair Tax Mark award (l-r) Don Morris, Alison Ruthen, Annette Pellow

Radstock Co-operative Society and, ourselves, Co-operatives UK are the latest businesses to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark, an independent accreditation demonstrating a responsible attitude to tax.

With tax avoidance the "number one" concern for consumers, the Fair Tax Mark was launched last year to enable organisations to demonstrate that they are paying their share of corporation tax and reporting on tax transparently.

Ed Mayo is secretary general of Co-operatives UK, the network for Britain's co-operative businesses which together contribute £37 billion to the British economy. He said: "Co-operatives are businesses with a difference - they are owned and controlled by their members, whether customers, employees or suppliers.

"Their purpose is not simply to make a profit but to provide a service to members and distribute surpluses fairly. It's no surprise that co-ops have pioneered the Fair Tax Mark, it’s a natural fit."

Radstock Co-operative is a South West based retailer. Owned and run by its customers, it operates 15 stores alongside post offices and a dairy farm. Radstock's chief executive, Don Morris, said: "Co-operatives like Radstock have always been committed to a fair approach to tax.

"We are owned and run by our local members, so we prioritise giving our share back to those members and the wider community. We operate as a retailer with the highest integrity and this ethos extends to our obligation to pay a fair contribution on the monies that we make as a business.The Fair Tax Mark is a simple way for us to demonstrate this."

We operate as a retailer with the highest integrity and this ethos extends to our obligation to pay a fair contribution on the monies that we make as a business. Don Morris, chief executive, Radstock Co-operative Society

Meesha Nehru, programme director at the Fair Tax Mark, said: "We've seen how co-operatives have been key to the roll-out of Fairtrade across the world, so the potential to see the same happen on tax is incredibly exciting. Tax avoidance is now the number one concern of the public when it comes to business conduct.

"Being involved in and contributing to local communities is a fundamental part of being a co-operative, and a socially responsible approach to paying corporation tax is the most sizeable community investment a business is ever likely to make."

Radstock Co-operative Society and Co-operatives UK join other co-operatives in being awarded the mark, including The Midcounties Co-operative, the Phone Co-op and, most recently, East of England Co-operative.