Community Shop, the UK’s first network of social supermarkets delivered by Company Shop, has won the ‘Community Partner Award’ at the prestigious Food and Drink Federation Awards in London.
Sharing the award with Company Shop were Kettle Foods, who were named joint winners. The accolade recognises a company that is making a real difference within its community. In a highly competitive category, Community Shop was shortlisted alongside Central England Co-operative, General Mills, Mars Foods and Siemens.
Community Shop is a social enterprise that redistributes surplus food from the supply chain and makes it available at heavily discounted prices to those living in areas of deprivation and experiencing in-work poverty.
Its first store was launched in the South Yorkshire town of Goldthorpe in December 2013 - one of the most deprived boroughs in the UK. It gained widespread national and international media coverage upon its launch, and was highlighted as a ‘Future Icon’ of sustainable, socially impactful consumer business practice by The Big Issue magazine.
Working with most of the major retailers and many top brands, including ASDA, Morrisons, The Co-operative, M&S, Tesco, Mondelēz, Nestlé, Ocado, Tetley, Young’s and Muller amongst others, industry support has been significant, and continues to grow.
But it is not just access to discounted food that marks Community Shop out as the winner of the FDF Community Partner of the Year. Members of the store also benefit from access to services provided at its ‘Community Hub’; where they can engage with professional mentors and seek support with budgeting and debt advice, skills and employment training and business incubation. The Community Hub Success Plan aims to provide a route back to financial independence, and towards mainstream retail.
Delivering maximum social, environmental and economic impact from surplus product is the driving motivation behind Community Shop. Following the success of the Goldthorpe pilot, preparations are well underway to launch a second pilot store in London, before expanding the network across the UK.
The award was collected by Mark Game, Managing Director of Company Shop, who says: “This is such a proud and humble moment for all of us. We have been bowled over by the support received for Community Shop so far. To be named the Community Partner of the Year is just incredible.
“Company Shop has always viewed surplus food as a valuable resource and our social supermarket model shows just how much of a positive social impact we are able to have - both on people’s lives and on the industry as a whole.
“We are excited about what the next twelve months have in store, and look forward to our continued expansion in the sector and across the UK.”