Nisa hopes to work with other retail co-ops to lobby policymakers and emphasise the value of the model, chief executive Neil Turton has told just-food.

The member-owned food and drink retailer announced today (14 July) it will be joining retail association Cooperatives UK to strengthen its mutual-style business model.

Co-operatives UK works to promote, develop and unite co-operative enterprises across various sectors, Nisa said.

“Becoming a member of the Co-operatives UK trade association will allow Nisa to work with other co-operatives and mutuals to campaign and influence policy whilst emphasising the value of co-operation to UK businesses,” Turton told just-food.

“Co-operatives UK has a unique role as a trade association for co-operatives and its campaigns for co-operation, such as Co-operatives Fortnight, bring together all those with a passion and interest in co-operative action,” he added.

However, Turton played down the possibility closer links to other co-operative organisations could impact Nisa’s procurement process.
Turton said: “As a retail group supplying independent retailers across the UK and Ireland, Nisa has a responsibility to stock recognised international food and drinks brands. In addition to this, Nisa has a local sourcing system in place with a directory of local suppliers across the country that Nisa members can source local products from.

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“Nisa will continue to source products from these suppliers, however, if being a mutual member of Co-operatives UK could generate the possibility of new relationships with other co-operatives and mutuals then Nisa would consider the opportunities that this provides.”