Food Future of Food 2030

Co-Operative Foods

3Keel partner, Mark Barthel, has been acting as an external advisor to Co-operative Foods since September 2017, helping the Food Policy team to develop their Future of Food Plan, which was launched at the Victoria Baths in Manchester on 27 September 2018 (see photo below).

In a great team effort, Mark worked alongside Co-op colleagues and two other external advisors, Prof. Bob Doherty from the University of York and Rob Moore from Behavioural Insight, to help shape the three pillars – or chapters – of the Plan:

  • Sourcing and Creating with Care;
  • Treating People Fairly; and
  • Learning & Celebrating Together.

The plan, which includes an impressive array of commitments to halve food waste, eliminate single use plastics, facilitate healthy and sustainable diets, support sustainable livelihoods, empower women and take action on modern slavery, builds on the retailer’s long and strong track record of championing environmental and ethical standards in the UK and overseas.

Each pillar of the Plan evolved and coalesced over a 12-month period with 3Keel supporting the development process: undertaking research and competitor benchmarking, aligning Co-op’s commitments with the UN SDGs; looking at the best options for the long-term sustainable sourcing of commodities, identifying opportunities to innovate, and co-facilitating a series of workshops with different Co-op functions and suppliers to help inform the structure and content of the Plan.

The end result of this innovate and inclusive process is a realistic but challenging evidence-based 12-year Plan that takes account of the needs and priorities of different stakeholders, amplifies the Co-op Difference in the marketplace; and clearly puts Co-op in a leadership position in responding to a number of nationally and internationally important sustainability challenges.

3Keel will be continuing to advise Co-op as it delivers the commitments it has made in the Future of Food.




Project lead

Mark Barthel