Parallel Session 1.1: Through a Strong Cooperative Brand

An accountant by profession, Ben Reid began his cooperative career with a small cooperative in Ilkeston, UK. By 1988 he had become Deputy CEO of West Midlands Co-operative and CEO in 1992.  In 2005 West Midlands Co-operative Society and Oxford, Swindon and Gloucester Society merged forming Midcounties Co-operative. Until his recent retirement, Ben had held the position of CEO, Midcounties since 2006, employing over 9000 staff with an annual turnover of over £1billion. Under Ben’s leadership, Midcounties grew into the UK’s largest independent cooperative and is the most diverse, innovative and democratic consumer cooperative in the UK.  The cooperative moved into childcare, travel, health and energy to great acclaim and became an early champion of the Fair Tax Mark. A committed international cooperator, Ben believes it is time to give something back. Having used global examples for over two decades to drive success at Midcounties, he now wants to help grow a stronger global cooperative movement.

As well as being a Director on the Board of the ICA, Ben sits on the Board of DotCoop and is also Chair, Co-op Exchange, Directorship of HF Holidays (UK).