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People's Supermarket, members handbook

Welcome to The People's Supermarket! The dedication, energy and engagement of its members are what will ensure the long-term success of the supermarket.

We hope that this manual will help you to understand how the store operates and your role in it. The policies within the manual are in development, and we hope that in future discussions and versions of the manual you will contribute your views and insights on how to improve the supermarket.

The idea for The People's Supermarket was developed at the start of 2009 by Arthur Potts-Dawson, Kate Bull and David Barrie, inspired by the example of the Park Slope Food Co-operative, Brooklyn, New York and supported by television production company Wall to Wall Television.

The motivation for the venture was to bring independently produced food and a more sustainable, communitarian form of grocery shopping to people living and working in cities in the UK and adapt and extend Park Slope's pioneering approach to volunteering to do it.

In Spring and Summer 2009, Potts-Dawson, Bull and Barrie developed a business concept and plan, with advice and support from a host of different people and organizations, including the Plunkett Foundation, professional services companies Gleeds, King Sturge, Charles Russell and MACE and an army of individuals expert in independent, ethical retail, the formation of non-profits, community organizing, healthy living and urban regeneration.

In late 2009, the team entered negotiations around an empty retail premises in Lamb's Conduit Street, Camden, after a series of false starts around prospective properties in London and elsewhere in the UK and a Board was formed, including Arthur, Kate, Richard Wassell of retail property specialists Twenty Retail and Andrew Thornton of The Local Epicurian.

Thanks for your membership and your commitment to the People's Supermarket.

See you in the store soon,

Arthur Potts-Dawson and Kate Bull
Founding members
Table of Contents

SECTION I: The TPS Vision and Values
A. TPS Vision/Mission Statement
B. TPS Values

A. What is a cooperative?
B. History of the cooperative movement
C. The Rochdale Principles
D. Industrial Provident Society: Legal Status of TPS

A. How to join
B. Benefits of membership
C. Responsibilities of membership
D. Induction sessions

A. Why your time contribution is so important
B. Your monthly time contribution
C. What you are expected to do during your shift
D. Customer service
E. What happens if you cannot make a shift

A. Leaving temporarily (Twelve weeks or less)
B. Ending membership

A. Monthly Special General Meeting
B. How to submit an agenda item
C. Voting
D. Referenda
E. Policy/issue committees
F. Annual General Meeting
G. Role of Committee of Management

A. People you may need to contact at TPS

A. What to do if you have a complaint?
B. What happens after a complaint is made?
C. Formal Hearing






A. Website
B. The Electronic Newsletter - The Conduit
C. Classes & Workshops




A. The People's Supermarket Vision[ST1]/Mission statement
Our vision is to create a commercially sustainable, social enterprise that achieves its growth and profitability targets whilst operating within values based on community development and cohesion. Our intent is to offer an alternative food buying network, by connecting an urban community with the local farming community.

B. TPS Values
The Supermarket is a sustainable food cooperative that responds to the needs of the local community and provides healthy, local food at reasonable prices. To this end, we believe in a series of key values, which guide our philosophy and management approach. We seek:

- To create a supermarket that meets the needs of its members and the local community by offering high quality, healthy food at reasonable prices.
- To buy from trusted suppliers with whom we develop mutually sustaining relationships.
- To buy British produce where possible, and produce local to the store.
- Provide choice and information to our members to help them make healthy decisions.
- To create a community supermarket that highlights the possibilities of consumer power and challenges the status quo.
- To minimise wastage, by creating prepared dishes from food coming up to its sell-by date, and by composting all other waste material.
- To provide inspirational training and life skill opportunities to the local community
- To create a working environment that values every one's contribution, is welcoming, safe and non-judgmental
- To be a training and development resource for our community.
- To buy sustainable energy and other inputs, and to promote alternative, forward thinking ideas and solutions.

A. What is a Cooperative (Co-op)?

The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) officially defines a co-op as an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. Members of a cooperative are together the owners of it. They support it with their patronage, participate in decision-making, and share in the profits generated by the organization's activities. The People's Supermarket (referenced throughout the rest of this document as "TPS") is modeled as a Co-op and registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1965-2002. The legal status and rules governing the company are attached as an annex to this membership manual.

Co-operatives are trading enterprises, providing goods and services and generating profits. Those profits are not taken by outside shareholders as is the case with investor-owned businesses, but are under the control of members, who decide democratically how they should be used.

There is a growing consensus that the certain factors serve business excellence; these factors are a clear mission, better services and products, empowered consumers, a positive work environment, and involved staff. Taken together, these factors are what many would describe as the advantages of co-operation. When co-operation is the priority within an organisation, it enables the provision of the best possible service for members.

B. History of the Cooperative Movement

The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, founded in 1844, was an early consumer co-operative and the first to pay a patronage dividend, forming the basis for the modern co-operative movement. The Rochdale Pioneers are most famous for designing the Rochdale Principles (see below), a set of principles of co-operation that provide the foundation for the principles on which co-ops around the world operate to this day. In 1995, these principles were updated and formed part of the Statement on the Co-operative Identity issued by the International Cooperative Alliance.

C. The Rochdale Principles

Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others. All members of TPS are expected to understand, accept and exemplify these principles while at the supermarket.

1st Principle: Voluntary and open membership
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of memberships, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination.

2nd Principle: Democratic member control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote).

3rd Principle: Member economic participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. They usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any of all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

4th Principle: Autonomy and independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organisations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.

5th Principle: Education, training and information
Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.

6th Principle: Cooperation among cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional, and international structures.

7th Principle: Concern for community
While focusing on members needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.

For more information on the Rochdale Pioneers, please see

For More information on the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA)

D. Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) Status of the TPS[ST2]

The People's Supermarket is legally registered as an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS). As Coops UK states: "IPSs are corporate bodies registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965-2002. To qualify for registration, an organisation must either be a bona fide co-op or a society for the benefit of the community. The IPS co-op format is mainly used by consumer co-ops, housing co-ops and credit unions. It is often used by agricultural, work and community co-ops. Its basic characteristics are: one member, one vote; return on capital must be limited; if profits are to be shared out among members, this must be done using an equitable formula; and, there are no artificial restrictions on membership. The structure should be representative of the Cooperative principles (outlined above). IPSs are regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

For further information on IPSs, please consult the Coops UK website,


A. How to Join

Everyone is welcome to shop at The People's Supermarket. But by joining as a member of TPS you receive certain benefits, rights and responsibilities and are able to contribute to the overall development of the supermarket.

TPS does not limit, for any social, political, or religious reasons, who may join and become a co-owner of the co-op. It is open to anyone who can make use of their services and is willing to accept the responsibilities involved.

By becoming a member of TPS, you share in its ownership. When you walk into a traditional supermarket, you are walking into someone else's store. When you walk into TPS as a member, you are walking into your own store. As members, we hope that your involvement means taking pride in the store.

To become a member, you will need to:

- Complete an administration form, and provide proof of identity
- Pay a non-refundable annual membership fee of £25 (which includes £1 to buy your share of the cooperative)
- Commit to contributing a four-hour time shift in the store every four weeks

Once you have completed the administration form, paid the fee and finished your first time slot, you will receive a membership card. This card will enable you to access the benefits of membership. Your membership card is your "certificate of membership" and should always be brought with you when you shop. The card when shown at the till allows you the discount. If you lose your membership card, see the people's manager. Your card can be replaced on the spot, but there will be a £2 card replacement fee to be paid at the till.

Membership is not transferable and rests with the individual, i.e. a relative, partner or friend may not use the card to receive discounts on purchases. Also, it is a member's responsibility to communicate with the management about any changes to your contact information. This can be done at the store, by email, by phone, or by written notification.

B. Benefits of membership

So, why should you join The People's Supermarket? Becoming a member of TPS entitles you to many benefits, including:

- A 10% discount on all purchases in the store
- Engagement in a democratic process: you can elect new Committee of Management Members, attend Committee meetings, run for the Committee, and vote in all elections and ballot initiatives to change the way the supermarket operates.
- And best of all, you get to shop in a store that you own!

Most importantly, you are taking the time and money to invest in a locally owned and democratically controlled business. You get to actively participate in your community and make ethical and responsible decisions that will affect you, your neighbourhood, your supermarket and your community.

C. Responsibilities of Membership

While the benefits are many, membership in TPS does come with some responsibilities, which you are expected to meet as best you are able.

These responsibilities include:
- Contribute one four-hour shift in the store every four weeks;
- Support our supermarket by shopping regularly;
- Tell others about the store and encourage new memberships;
- Participate in the activity of the co-op (i.e. join a committee, attend events, volunteer for a project, bring in a friend, spread the spirit);
- Keep informed; know what is going on at the co-op. Read our website, and stay active in owner forums and meetings.

D. Member Induction Session

An induction session for new members is held monthly and these sessions provide an introduction and initial training for all new members. These sessions are voluntary, but all new members are encouraged to attend as they cover key issues that will help you in understanding the people's supermarket and your important role as a member. The training will cover membership requirements, who is who in TPS management, how shifts are organised, where items are in the store, product lines, how to get more information, and health & safety concerns. These induction sessions are a great way to learn more about the supermarket, get to know other new members and ask questions. The induction is held in the member's lounge of the store; the People's Manager will provide you with a schedule of induction sessions.


A. Why Your Time Contribution Is So Important

The People's Supermarket was established as an alternative to the large corporate grocery stores, which dominate food shopping in London, and across the UK. While these large-scale grocers' primary goal are ever-increasing profits and greater dividends to their shareholders, TPS focuses on providing good food at a reasonable prices to consumers and members, while supporting shortened and more sustainable food chains. To keep prices and running costs low, much of what is needed to run TPS is provided by members. With every member contributing time each month, TPS saves on staff costs, helping to ensure prices are kept reasonable and that any profits can be put back into the supermarket. The supermarket is also committed to purchasing products at a fair price for producers, thus helping to preserve rural communities and livelihoods.

Because we rely on every member's contribution to help run the store, we have to stress that absenteeism does take its toll on the supermarket. Imagine what would happen to any business in which employees didn't show up for work, or didn't find someone to cover their shifts. The spirit and success of the store comes from the dedication of our members.

B. Your Monthly Time Commitment

When you become a member, you will select a time shift when you will be at the store to assist. Shifts are for four hours every four weeks. Most members elect to pick the same shift every four weeks. A regular shift commitment does help the management of TPS to ensure coverage and contributes to the development of team spirit amongst members who repeatedly work together. However, members do not need to commit to the same shift as TPS recognises that many members have variable schedules. Members just need to ensure that that they are contributing the four hours every four weeks.

Our membership comprises people with a diverse range of abilities to offer and we strive to meet their differing needs and capabilities. There are many types of work at the supermarket, and we are happy to assist members in finding shifts and tasks that accommodate individual needs. If you have a specific requirement, please talk to the People's Manager and make them aware of your needs so that we can to our best to match you with suitable work or a flexible schedule. In addition, if you are not able to contribute physical labour or your presence in the store, this does not preclude you from becoming a member. Please speak with the People's Manager to discuss this issue further.

C. What to expect on your shift

You will be expected to arrive punctually for your shift. The duty manager will meet briefly with your crew, once all are assembled, to provide any critical new information or updates and review the tasks to be undertaken during the shift.

Before your shift starts
- Clean yellow member supermarket t-shirts are available in the members lounge, as are name badges. By wearing the t-shirt and name badge, you help other members and the management as well the public to identify you in the store.
- You can place personal items in the lockers for storage during your shift.
- Tick off your name on the schedule to ensure that you get credit for arriving for your shift.

During your shift, you may have to:
- Manage the till (following training and reference checks)
- Stock shelves
- Refresh the produce
- Serve ice cream
- Perform inventory checks
- Clean, sweep
- Attend a community group or event
- Deliver groceries
- Perform other tasks as requested by the duty manager.

The exact nature of the tasks will vary from shift to shift, depending on needs of the supermarket on that particular day or week.

Typical morning shift activities include: collecting newspapers, taking deliveries of meat and dairy and checking how on the produce. During midday shifts, you may have to do refrigerator temperature checks, stock shelves or tidy displays. In the evening, often members will have to mark down food that is close to expiry, sweep or clean, and/or record any bread or produce losses.

If you have medical/physical limitations to the type of tasks you can perform, please inform the management. There a range of tasks available and the people's manager will work with you to identify appropriate options for you. However, please refrain from asking to be exempted from work that you simply do not want to do, rather than that which you cannot do. Running the supermarket along the cooperative principles requires every member to demonstrate flexibility and a willingness to take on all manner of tasks. If everyone refused to perform certain tasks, then the supermarket would cease to function.

D. Customer Service

As a retail organization, TPS needs to have great customer relations in order to ensure its long-term viability. Given our reliance on members for so much of the labour in the store, everyone should try to contribute to creating a welcoming atmosphere in the story, and ensuring customers get the assistance they seek as they shop.

Please greet customers as they enter the store, and say thank you as they leave. If a customer asks you for help in locating items or for a price check, please assist them as best you can. Treat customers as you like to be treated when you shop, with care and attention. If you get a question, you cannot answer, check with the duty manager. If customers ask you about membership, feel free to discuss how the supermarket works, and/or reference them to the People's Manager or duty manager. Every time a customer enquires about memberships is an opportunity to tell the story of the supermarket and gain a new member.

Only happy customers return, so we all need to do our best to make customers feel welcome and well served when they visit TPS.

E. What happens if you cannot make your shift

Each member is responsible for covering his or her shift. If, for whatever reason, you are unable to attend your shift, please contact the People's Manager and/or relevant duty manager as soon as you are aware that will not able to come in. If a member misses a shift, he/she is expected to "make-up" a shift prior to his/her next scheduled shift. Make-ups do not have to be scheduled in advance, i.e. a member can come by the store and perform a make-up shift immediately, but it certainly helps the store if the make-up is scheduled in advance and cover shifts where there are fewer members present.


A. Leaving Temporarily (Twelve Weeks or Less)

If you need to leave the supermarket for twelve weeks or less, we invite you to take a temporary leave of absence from your supermarket shift. Contact the people's manager to arrange a leave and ensure that they know that you will not be able to attend your monthly shifts. Any member has the right to vote even if they are not working, but they must be present in person to exercise that vote.

B. Ending Membership

If you are leaving the supermarket permanently, please contact the people's manager. You will need to turn in your membership card. You will no longer be able to participate in member meetings or vote on issues facing the cooperative.

Except where you have been a member for less than three months, the £25 administrative fee you paid on joining the co-operative will not be repaid[ST3]. Any shares beyond the initial £1 share requirement in the co-operative may be repaid. Members can vote to suspend the right to withdraw share capital. In this case, any additional shares beyond the £1 may be converted into a loan to the co-operative, which must be repaid to you within three years.

Membership may be terminated for conduct considered prejudicial to the supermarket. This must be decided by a vote at a Special General Meeting, carried by a majority of at least two-thirds. All members must be given due notice of this meeting. The grounds for expulsion must be specified in the notices calling the meeting. The member being considered for expulsion must be given an opportunity to state their case at the meeting. However, if they don't attend, the meeting can proceed in their absence. However the Store Manager has authority to suspend immediately a member if they are suspected of misconduct, pending investigation.

Examples of the type of conduct that could lead to termination of membership are:
- Theft, damage to property, or fraud;
- Incapacity for work due to the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Physical violence;
- Bullying or harassment;
- Gross insubordination.

An expelled member may be repaid any shares beyond the initial £1 share invested in the cooperative. If members have voted to suspend the right to withdraw share capital, it should be repaid within three years. A member who has been expelled cannot be readmitted, except on a vote carried by a majority of two-thirds at a Special General Meeting.


In keeping with the 2nd Rochdale Principle (democratic member control), the People's Supermarket is organised to maximise members' participation in setting policy and making decisions.

A. Monthly Special General Meetings (SGM)

The monthly Special General Meeting (SGM) is the main decision-making body of the supermarket. Meetings are usually held on the last Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in the members' lounge of The People's Supermarket unless otherwise stated. The meetings are to be chaired by the Chairperson of the Committee of Management and the agenda is to be circulated in advance. Minutes from the monthly SGMs will be circulated electronically, and posted to the communal bulletin board.

B. How to Submit an Agenda Item for the SGM

Any member can submit an agenda item for consideration at a SGM by sending an email to . The agenda is to be finalised and circulated to all members 14 days prior to the meeting (Rule 18). The agenda will be posted to the bulletin board in the members' area for those members.

C. Voting

Every member who attends a meeting (whether the Annual General Meeting or the monthly SGM) has a vote. Each member shall have one and only one vote. Voting by proxy shall not be permitted. There must be quorum (more than 10% of TPS' membership) to make legitimate decisions at the meeting. For a measure to pass, it must receive a vote of 50% or more of those present at a quorum meeting or it fails. Any motions to be voted on at the meeting must be included in the notice of the meeting. Moreover, meeting notifications must include the full text of any proposed changes to the Rules; for a change to the Rules to pass, it must be approved by 75% of those present to pass (see Rule 33). Meetings shall be conducted generally in accordance with reasonable and accepted rules of parliamentary procedure and in lines with the Rules governing TPS.

D. Referenda

Currently (as of January 2010) there is no provision for referenda in the Rules governing TPS, but the members have determined at the 24 November members meeting that there will be change in the Rules at the first Annual General Meeting to allow for referenda to take place. Currently most major decisions are made at the monthly SGMs or by the Management, but it may be determined that a decision should be made by referendum, or by a supermarket member-wide vote. In such cases, a ballot box could be set up in the members' room for a period of time to allow all members to cast a vote.

E. Policy/Issue Committees

In order to assist the Committee of Management in running the store and in the creation of specialist policy for the supermarket, the Committee of Management can appoint group co-ordinators to create members groups. These groups will meet at times set by the group members to help implement specialist areas of activity affecting the supermarket and which require greater deliberation or effort than that afforded by the Committee of Management or Members Meetings. Every group will have a Terms of Reference governing the scope and activities of the group.

The groups will provide regular updates to the Committee of Management and the members via reports, the monthly members meetings, and in other TPS newsletter/informational emails Conduit.

The groups will have the power to implement any policies for the supermarket which have been approved by the members Meeting and/or the board. The decision to establish a group, listen to group proposals, and adopt measures will be made by the Committee of Management.

Members with relevant skills are encouraged to offer these to the relevant group. If you are interested in joining a group, please review the groups listed on the bulletin board and the website and get in touch with the group co-ordinators.

F. Annual General Meeting (AGM)

In accordance with its Rules, TPS must hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM). This will be held within six months of the close of the financial year of TPS. The financial year ends on 30 October (date is pending approval from the Committee of Management) for TPS. At the AGM, the annual financial report, including the receipt of the accounts and balance sheet and of the reports of the Committee of Management and auditor (if any) will be presented, along with the appointment an auditor. At the AGM, Committee of Management members will face election, or be announced if the election had been held previously by ballot. The AGM will review the process for applications of profits generated by TPS during the previous financial year. Other agenda items may be covered at the AGM, provided that they are announced in advance of the meeting.

G. The Role of the Committee of Management

The supermarket has a Committee of Management ("Committee"), which is in charge of running the supermarket, including hiring staff, and dealing with financial matters.

The Committee can have a minimum of three and a maximum of fifteen members. The initial Committee members have been appointed by the founding members of the supermarket. They will hold office until the next AGM, when the members will vote in the new Committee. Retiring members of the Committee can be re-elected. Only members of TPS can be elected to the Committee. Committee members hold office for one year, until the next AGM.

The Committee has a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. These are elected by the Committee members from within the Committee.

If the number of members on the Committee drops below the number elected at the last AGM, the Committee can co-opt any member of TPS on to the Committee. No more than one third of the Committee can be made up of co-opted members.

If the number of Committee members drops below three, they must either co-opt a member (so that there are two elected members and one co-opted member) or call a Special General Meeting to elect new Committee members.

Committee members must declare when they have a personal, material or financial interest in any matter, and if so they are not allowed to vote on that matter.


Management Committee[ST4]:
Kate Bull: (Co-founder & interim General Manager)
Arthur Potts Dawson (Co-founder)
Andrew Thornton
Richard Wassell

Duty Managers
Andy Leach:
Tom Smith:
Saifur Rahman

People Managers
Rebecca Lee:
Kyoko Hoda:


Here at The People's Supermarket we aim to promote harmonious working relationships. However, sometimes things may go wrong or misunderstandings may occur.

A. What to do if you have a complaint?
Initially, you should attempt to discuss your concern with the person involved. If, however, you have a complaint that you feel has not been or cannot be satisfactorily addressed by them in person, you should speak or write to:

The General Manager
The People's Supermarket
72-78 Lamb's Conduit Street
London WC1N 3LP

and explain what has happened.

B: What happens after a complaint is made?
You should expect an acknowledgment of your grievance/complaint within a week. Our People's Manager will investigate fully and try to clear up any misunderstanding. If, after this, you are still not satisfied, you should put your complaint into writing to:

The Chair of The People's Supermarket Committee
At the address above

Your complaint will be considered and the comments of the People Manager sought. If, after considering the evidence, the Chairman decides a formal hearing is not appropriate, she will write to you with a full explanation of this decision within 28 days of receiving your complaint.

C. Formal Hearing
If the Chair decides a formal hearing is necessary, two members of The People's Supermarket Committee will hear your case within 28 days of receiving the complaint. You will be invited to attend and may bring a friend with you. When these members have heard the facts of your case, they will write a report on it and recommend steps to resolve the issue. A copy of this will be sent to you, the People Manager and the Committee of Management.


When you're on the premises of TPS it is always a good idea to keep valuables on your person, and never leave your bag or purse in an unattended, unlocked space. Please use the lockers in the members' space to hold bags or other larger items. To many members TPS feels like a safe space, but it's important to remember that we are still in London and theft can occur.

We ask that all members take responsibility for the well being of the Coop by reporting suspicions of theft immediately to the duty manager. However, we actively discourage members from confronting one another with suspicions of theft. If you think a theft has occurred, immediately report it to the duty manager. All reports of theft will be investigated.

If you spot a customer stealing from the supermarket, immediately alert the duty manager. If you are threatened and/or harassed by a customer, try to remain calm and collected. Alert your fellow members and get the attention of the duty manager, who will assume responsibility for handling the situation.


It is TPS policy to ensure that all our members, volunteers and employees are provided with a safe and healthy a working environment. Government legislation and approved codes of practice establish the minimum standards of health, safety and welfare. However, TPS recognises that the minimum standards should be developed and improved upon, and has developed its own Health and Safety policy. This policy will be reviewed annually by the TPS Committee of Management to take account of future safety developments and to ensure that it is fit for purpose. Duty managers are responsible for implementing the policy by communicating procedures to all members, volunteers and employees, investigating any incidents or accidents to customers, suppliers, members, volunteers and employees in the section under their control to prevent recurrence, and maintaining records. Everyone working at TPS has a responsibility to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and for other persons who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work and to co-operate to ensure that statutory requirements are met.

The full policy is available on the website and hard copies are available in the members lounge area. Safety awareness will be promoted by the distribution of notices, pamphlets and the health and safety literature.


Protecting the environment, especially through the reduction and responsible disposal of waste, is a priority at TPS. There are a number of ways in which TPS does its share to recycle, reuse and reduce waste. TPS is committed to integrating environmental best practice into all its business activities. It accepts its environmental responsibilities and recognises its obligation to reduce the impact of business activities on the environment, and achieves this through a policy of continual improvement in environmental performance.

Each member, volunteer and employee is responsible for his/her adherence to the principles of the policy. The TPS environmental policy is available for all members to review; it is posted on the website, and available in hard copies in the members lounge.

The contents of this policy and the way in which it is being implemented will be reviewed regularly, at a minimum once a year, by the Committee of Management.


TPS seeks to meet the challenges of our diverse population and ensure that we reach under represented groups effectively to ensure they can benefit from our services. It also reflects our aim of being an inclusive organisation for our members, volunteers and employees, where recruitment and progression are based on merit and where we respect difference and diversity.
We will take steps to ensure that no member, volunteer, employee, customer or stakeholder organisation suffers from bullying, harassment, victimisation or direct or indirect discrimination. Discrimination is a barrier to equal opportunities and unjustified discrimination on all the grounds identified within the policy, irrespective of whether they are covered by law or not, is unacceptable within the supermarket. Lastly, by implementing this policy our aim is to create a positive, inclusive ethos where issues of racism, stereotyping and discrimination can be discussed openly.

The Committee of Management is responsible for setting out TPS's vision and strategy for equality and diversity. TPS duty managers are responsible for ensuring that the policy is implemented and appropriate training and enforcement actions are taken as required. Members are responsible for understanding the policy, and ensuring that they are in compliance with it.

Any member, volunteer or employee who feels that they have not been treated in accordance with our Equality and Diversity Policy should:
- Initially attempt to handle the matter themselves informally by raising the complaint directly with the individual concerned.
- If informal action is unsuccessful then you are asked to use the Grievance Procedure to try to resolve the complaint.

The full policy is available on the website and printed copies are available in the members lounge.


Our relationship with suppliers is key to the model of The People's Supermarket. We work with carefully selected, trusted food producers with whom we foster long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial and fair. These suppliers would have to fulfill a set of criteria to ensure that they reflect and uphold values that are central to The People's Supermarket in their operations, for example with regard to their soil and animal husbandry, their employee and environmental policies.

We monitor suppliers and they have to supply their products on time, to an agreed price and to a high quality threshold - although the criteria required to achieve this might differ substantially from traditional supermarkets, e.g. that carrots are judged on flavour rather than appearance.
The People's Supermarket aims to restore the current disconnect between producers and consumers. We appoint some "hero" suppliers for key products who would visit the store and establish relationships with the members so that they identify produce with the grower


Need more information, or want to find ways to share your knowledge? Here are some of the ways we communicate within the supermarket.

A. Website

Store information such as hours open, products lines etc are available on the website. The information included in this publication and much more is available online at If you would like to contribute content and/or technical assistance to the website, please contact[ST6] .

B. TPS Electronic Newsletter The Conduit

Every week TPS sends out The Conduit Newsletter electronically to its members. These announcements will provide information on schedules, product or policy updates as well agendas for upcoming events and meetings. If you have news of relevance for The Conduit, please contact XXX[ST7]. TPS respects your privacy and will not share or sell your name or email address.

C. Classes & Workshops

Classes, workshops, and demonstrations held in the members lounge at the People's Supermarket are open to everyone, unless indicated otherwise. If you're interested in hosting a meeting, class, workshop, or demonstration in this space, please contact the people's manager.


Without the following organizations and individuals, the People's Supermarket would not have been possible. We are grateful for their generous support and commitment to the supermarket.

London Borough of Camden
Plunkett Foundation
Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
Social Enterprise London
Development Trusts Association
Transition Towns Bloomsbury
Wall to Wall Television
Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency
King Sturge
Charles Russell
Carolyn Steel and a team of designers who did a lot of early work and supported the birth of the vision of TPS
Susan Brown
Maurice McCartney
David Barrie


The following persons contributed to the creation of the membership manual, which was reviewed at 24 November 2010 and 15 December 2010 special general monthly meetings. It was approved on Insert Date, pending approval. We appreciate all their hard work in bringing this to fruition.

Contributors included: E. Rachael Baird, David Barrie, Rachael Block, Chris Brown, Kate Bull, Kyoko Hoda, Holly Hughes, Rebecca Lee, Jules Mann, Sarah Moore, Arthur Potts-Dawson, Jane Richardson, Stefan Soehnchen, Djuna Thurley and Sara Trewhitt.

[ST1]At the last members meeting 15/12/2010, the mission statement was discussed. People felt this was too jargony, and Georgie Knight offered to come up with a more pithy/punchy version.
[ST2]I understand that there has been a statutory change from the IPS term which is to call such organisations a Co-Op or a Community Benefit Society. I have not changed this language here however, as Rules currently still reference the IPS Act.
[ST3]Do we still want to refund the 24 pound administrative fee if people leave within 3 months?
[ST4]Please update with relevant info in light of current committee structure
[ST5]One member commented that this supplier/buying information really only refers to produce/meat, and not to the dry goods section. If the ordering/purchasing team has additional information to add here, it would be welcome.
[ST6]Please include an email address here or delete if not appropriate
[ST7]Please include an email address here or delete if not appropriate.
[ST8]This is the list provided by David Barrie in November 2010. Please review and make sure everyone who needs to be included is listed.

Originally published here: