Talking to the Midcounties Co-operative

Ben Reid, CEO

A pioneer Fair Tax Mark organisation, the Midcounties Co-operative talked to the Fair Tax Mark about why they wanted to be one of the first holders.

Midcounties Co-operative logo

As a values led and ethical organisation, we believe that we should pay the taxes that are due and not engage in aggressive tax avoidance schemes, even if legal. In 2013 we formalised this with the development of a Tax Charter, which sets out that, as far as is reasonable, the Society’s preference is to make its tax affairs as simple as possible. In July 2014, we revised our Charter, making an explicit commitment to not establish operations in other jurisdictions for the purpose of evading or avoiding the tax laws of the UK.

In February 2014, we were amongst a handful of pioneers to secure a Fair Tax Mark, which certifies that we “pay the right amount of tax in the right place at the right time.” As with Fairtrade, we are proud to be at the vanguard of this important area of corporate responsibility, and were pleased that our involvement was commended in the national media and by politicians via an Early Day Motion. To promote our achievement, and encourage other businesses to consider involvement, last year we sponsored a roundtable discussion with the Guardian and proposed that the UK co-operative movement embrace the Fair Tax Mark at Co-operative Congress.

In early 2015, we were recertified and saw our score increase following improvements to our Tax Charter. We were also amongst the first businesses to pledge support to the Tax Dodging Bill campaign principles and recognise the need for the UK to tighten up regulation to ensure that business can less easily avoid paying their fair share of tax here and in the developing world.

Ben Reid, CEO“Midcounties Co-operative is proud to be a pioneer of the Fair Tax Mark,” said Ben Reid OBE, CEO. ”We see this as a natural extension of our long-standing commitment to put something back into the communities in which we operate and trade. Last year we contributed the equivalent of 15% of our profits to charitable causes and it makes no sense for us to undermine this by engaging in aggressive tax avoidance schemes, even when to do so would be legal.

“Twenty years ago, co-operative enterprises were front and centre to the launch and roll-out of the Fairtrade Mark, which is now the best recognised ethical certification scheme in the UK. I look forward to the Fair Tax Mark enjoying equal success in the years to come.”

Are you a business looking to stand up for a fair economy and stand out from the crowd? Contact us to find out how you can get a Fair Tax Mark today.