Euro Coop

Education & Lifestyle

Education is at the core of the functioning and principles of consumer co-operatives. Indeed, the 5th co-operative principle is "education, training, and information", which definitely also applies to teaching consumers how to shop for food, what to look for, and how to cook the food. Such educational activities start from a very young age in school classes and span to adulthood with dedicated websites for recipes and tips.  


Initiative: 

Guadagnare Salute

Description:

Coop Italy has adhered to the program guadagnare salute [gain health] of the Italian government. This program supports interventions that promote health in a sustainable, efficient way, and by bringing different stakeholders together. In 2012, Coop members were informed about the adherence of Coop Italia to this program in an article published in the Coop magazine; 2.5 million families were reached. One of the initiatives adhered to by Coop Italia consisted in promoting fruit and vegetable consumption in 800 Coop shops, by motivating consumers to eat seasonal fruits and vegetables both to improve their health and wellbeing, as well as to limit expenses. Consumers were also taught about which fruits and vegetables were seasonal, both via posters displayed in Coop shops, as well as by being given easy-to-read leaflets.

Participating Co-operatives: 

Coop Italy

Timeline: 

2012 - today


Initiative: 

Food-O-Meter

Description:

Coop Denmark’s Food-O-Meter collects data on the daily consumption habits of Danish consumers, according to their age, sex and place of residence. This database was created following polls/surveys of consumers aged from 15 to 74 years old. Coop asks on average 1.000 consumers per week about their consumption patterns of the previous day. In so doing, since the beginning of this initiative in January 2009, Coop Analysis has collected data from some 70.000 Danes which described more than 1.000.000 meals. In addition to figures on sales, this database gives a unique picture of consumption patterns of the Danish population. By proposing over 800 recipes, the database aims to clarify the difference between healthy and unhealthy eating habits, and to help consumers understand information provided on the issue.

Participating Co-operatives: 

Coop Denmark

Timeline: 

2009 - today


Initiative: 

The Food Pyramid

Description:

Coop Denmark’s Food Pyramid was first created in 1976. Since then, it has been updated many times in order to follow the Danish dietary recommendations. The food pyramid has been most recently updated in 2011, with the major change being that vegetables were moved to the bottom floor (i.e. more should be eaten) while fruit was moved to the middle level. The food pyramid is a nutritional full meal-model, meaning that all foodstuffs displayed in the pyramid should be consumed, just in different amounts. In addition, the pyramid shows the proportion of foods that should be consumed over a two-week period without specifying what a single meal should look like. Finally, the food pyramid incorporates a climate aspect. If all consumers ate according to the food pyramid, environmental impacts from food consumption could be reduced by 30% compared to how Danes eat today.

Participating Co-operatives: 

Coop Denmark

Timeline: 

1976 - today


Initiative: 

Websites : Recipes, Healthy Tips, and Nutritional Values

Description:

Coop Recipes from Coop Denmark formerly “We must eat!”, is one of the largest recipe databases, filled with more than 7000 recipes. Most recipes are unique and give nutritional information of the dish in question. All recipes are also accompanied by a photo of the dish, consumer appreciation, and the time needed to prepare the dish. Recently, emphasis has been placed on dishes that provide a good intake of vegetables.

The S-Group’s “Yheishyvä Ruoka” website provides consumers with an easy online access to a database of thousands of recipes, cooking tips, menus and decorating ideas. The website is designed to help consumers meet their daily dietary needs by allowing them to browse recipes by dish and ingredient (e.g. gluten-free, lactose-free recipes) and then to calculate the nutritional information per serving of each recipe (e.g. fat, protein, carbohydrate, dietary fibre). Fully interactive, this family-friendly website also features interesting articles concerning general food issues, including helpful information and recommendations on nutrition, healthy eating, and food product labelling.

 

Coop Netherlands also launched a similar website, called keukentafel.nl collecting and giving a vote to new recipes.

 

 

Coop Italy is also very active in this domain. Indeed, in addition to the website alimentazionebambini which provides consumers with healthy recipes, Coop Italy has also launched a YouTube channel for recipes targeted specifically at children. In addition, Coop Italy createdGedeone – Maestro di Nutrizione[Gedeone – Master of nutrition], which provides consumers with the nutritional information of 100g of foodstuffs.

Similarly, the Co-operative Group in the UK launched the dinner4tonight website which aims at inspiring consumers on what to cook. Recipes are interactive and include the serving size, the time needed for preparing the dish and the time needed for cooking. Consumers have the choice between “leisurely cooking” or choosing dishes that are “ready in minutes”.The Co-operative Group has decided to focus on soft drinks which are shown to be one of the biggest contributors to sugar in the diet of UK consumers. The Co-operative Group has therefore taken the initiative of completely reformulating their high juice and squash range to remove 100 million teaspoons of sugar and 1.5 billion calories and is currently the first retailer to boast a solely “no added sugar” own-brand squash and high juice range. This means that if each day a child drinks a glass of the “no added sugar” high juice, instead of the old “added sugar” version, their calorie intake will be reduced by 13 calories each day, i.e. 26.000 calories saved in a year.

Participating Co-operatives: 

Coop Denmark; S Group (Finland); Coop Netherlands; Coop Italy; The Co-operative Group (UK)

Timeline: 

2010 - today


Initiative: 

Coop and School - Educational Projects

Description:

Coop Denmark

GoCook is a yearly project that sees the participation of 160.000 children coming from 75% of all primary schools in Denmark. Coop provides teachers with a box of educational material, including recipes and a “flavour box” of seasonal ingredients, which helps schools in setting up cooking workshops where children have to identify food ingredients based on their taste, smell and texture. The objectives of this project are to teach children about seasonal ingredients; to cook food with children (thus making it a fun task); to enable children to develop and enhance the range of tastes that they like; to promote healthier meals and to trigger healthier eating habits among children, by showing them the benefits of such meals. GoCook also entails that free cooking books are available for children in the 4th to 7th grade in Denmark.

Eroski, Spain

The Escuela de Alimentación [School of Nutrition] is an initiative of the Eroski Foundation that was born with the aim of promoting healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle among citizens. Particularly, due to the increasing prevalence of children reported to be overweight or obese, the School of Nutrition has decided to focus on the issue of childhood obesity by developing an educational program in schools. The methodology of this program is playful, participatory and experimental; children carry out small group projects based on the value of food and healthy habits, and always encouraging a constructive, responsible and co-operative attitude. About 220.000 children have participated in this program. An example of initiative of this program is the “imagine food” competition, where elementary school children have to tip into their imagination and draw creative and healthy meals.

 

Since 2013, Eroski runs Tix & Loy, an educational programme designed to address the problem of childhood obesity. Two characters, Tix and Loy, have been created to provide an example to children, aged 10-12, on how to take care of their health and to eat well. The website features both activities and materials aimed at children (in the form of videos and comics) as well as tools for parents and teachers. The aim is to allow children to learn in a variety of ways so as to increase the chance of the message sinking in. Therefore, teachers can download the educational packs which mainly focus on the importance of responsible consumerism and the value of a healthy lifestyle. For parents, there are a range of recipes on the website to download.

Coop Italy

For 35 years now, Coop has been offering teachers, students, and families a wide range of free educational courses and training workshops, kits, exhibitions and publishing materials on nutrition (i.e. taste education, health and wellbeing, food and culture, the effect of advertising on consumer choices), sustainability (i.e. responsible lifestyles, ethics and everyday behaviour, economic geography, globalization and environmental sustainability and citizenship rights) and citizenship (i.e. cooperation, solidarity and legality). Thanks to the efforts of co-operatives in over 700 Italian municipalities, 12.000 such initiatives take place in as many classes, involving more than 265.000 children and 12.300 teachers every year. Especially on the topic of nutrition, the analysis focuses on the journey of food from farm to fork, on the knowledge of the food supply chain, and on food culture based on specific features which are recognised internationally and have to be safeguarded as the heritage of knowledge and taste. The methodology includes the use of the supermarket as a “teaching laboratory” in which children and teens try to look for values, meanings, history and culture of the product itself. The good practices conveyed by the child are likely to have a positive effect on the entire family, thus creating a virtuous school – child – family – community circle.

Participating Co-operatives: 

Coop Denmark, Eroski (Spain), Coop Italy

Timeline: 

1980s - today


Initiative: 

Alimentazione Bambini

Description:

The alimentazionebambini website is dedicated to children and their relation to food and healthy living in general. It covers different areas: children at school, games, recipes and press articles – all of them from a nutrition point of view. For example, those who visit the website can easily calculate the BMI of their child in the section called “bimbometro” (meaning “kid-o-meter”). In another section, parents will be able to find questions/ answers with nutrition and health experts, as well as the “Coop Italy Guidelines for a Correct Diet for Children”. Finally, the website gathers some of Coop Italy’s initiatives carried out in schools across the country, aiming at teaching children the value of food and of living an adequate lifestyle. 

Participating Co-operatives: 

Coop Italy

Timeline: 

2009 - today


Initiative: 

Green Schools Revolution

Description:

Green Schools Revolution is a sustainability programme launched in June 2013 which aims to encourage children aged 5 to 16 to learn about farming, food production and healthy eating. To this aim, the Co-operative offers free education resources and activities for children, which can be carried out both in the classroom and at home. The Co-operatives’ goal is to inspire young people, and to discover important resources around key topics such as energy, healthy living, fair enterprise, and biodiversity. Tools that are used for the education of children are for instance recipes, games, design competitions, walking buses, and fun activities to carry out inside and outside the classroom. In the health and nutrition area, the objectives of the Green Schools Revolution are to help children have a better understanding of the origin of foods they eat, to improve and complete children’s knowledge about agriculture and food products, and to enable them to make better informed choices when purchasing and consuming food products in the future.

Participating Co-operatives: 

The Co-operative Group (UK)

Timeline: 

2013 - 2016


Initiative: 

Month of Healthy Nutrition

Description:

Coop recently conducted a survey of their panel members, who were asked about their criteria for qualifying a certain food as being healthy, and about how Coop can help them in pursuing a healthy lifestyle. On the basis of the results of this study, the “Month of Healthy Nutrition” was launched. Coop recently spent a month under the “fond of vegetables” theme, which attributed special attention to vegetable consumption. For instance, cooking tips and background information on the origin of various kinds of vegetables were collected on keukentafel.nl.

Participating Co-operatives: 

Coop Netherlands

Timeline: 

2016


Initiative: 

The Sugar Swap Pledge

Description:

The Co-operative Group has lent its support to the UK Department of Health’s Change4life “Sugar Swaps” Campaign which aims to encourage shoppers to switch to “no added sugar” or “sugar free” drinks in order to improve their health. The Co-operative will provide 25% more shelf space for drinks which are sugar-free of have low or no added sugar. Almost 100 million teaspoons of sugar were already removed from its shelves, helping to cut 1.5 billion calories. It aims to create a new “health and wellbeing” range of soft drinks, using only natural ingredients and sweeteners. The Co-operative Group were the first retailer in the UK to put a sugar advisory note on the label of their own brand sugar sweetened soft drinks, fruit juices and smoothies. It has signed up to the UK Government’s “Public Health Responsibility Deal” and actively makes changes to its range and shelf displays to achieve the Government’s Calorie Reduction targets.

Participating Co-operatives: 

The Co-operative Group (UK)

Timeline: 

2015 - today


Initiative: 

Información Alimentaria al Consumidor [Food Information to Consumers]

Description:

In the context of the entry into force of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, Hispacoop launched theInformación Alimentaria al Consumidor” Campaign in 2015, in order to assess the level of awareness of consumers regarding labelling requirements, and requirements expected by food business operators. As part of this campaign, Hispacoop held a conference in Seville on 1 December 2015 which was funded by the Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Security and Nutrition (AECOSAN), Ministry of health, Social Services and Equality. The aim of this conference was to promote the understanding of provisions required by this Regulation.

Participating Co-operatives: 

Hispacoop (Spain)

Timeline: 

2015


Initiative: 

Food or What

Description:

This project is co-organised by Coop Denmark, as well two organisations called “6 a day” and “Home Economics Teachers”. Coop provides teachers with a box of educational material: recipes and a “flavour box” of seasonal ingredients. These tools help schools to set up cooking workshops where children have to identify food ingredients based on their taste, smell and texture. While teaching students how to follow recipes and use simple ingredients, teachers also make sure to promote the use of vegetables in everyday meals. This is a database on the daily consumption habits of Danish consumers, according to their age, sex and place of residence. This database was realised thanks to polls/surveys with consumers aged from 15 to 74 years old. Coop asks on average 1,000 consumers a week about what they have been eating and drinking the day before. The objectives of this project are to teach children about seasonal ingredients; to cook food with children (thus making it a fun task); to enable children to develop and enhance the range of tastes that they like; to promote healthier meals and to trigger healthier eating habits among children, by showing them the benefits of such meals. This project takes place every year, during the autumn.

Participating Co-operatives: 

Coop Denmark

Timeline: 

2015 - today


Initiative: 

EXPO Milano 2015

Description:

In preparation for EXPO 2015, of which Coop Italy has been chosen as the official food partner, Coop has taken part in the EXPOSCUOLA2015 (EXPO School 2015) which has issued guidelines for nutrition education in Italian schools. This recognises the school as the place of choice to teach students and their parents the values, individually and collectively, and the knowledge of rights and duties towards food and the environmental as seen from a social, economic and cultural perspective. The key theme of the food section of the EXPO is “the future of food production” and this will address the topics of food safety, nutrition, food security and agriculture. In general, EXPO will examine the global obesity epidemic and reflect on how to tackle it.

Participating Co-operatives: 

Coop Italy

Timeline: 

2015


Initiative: 

Promotion of (Organic) Fruits and Vegetables

Description:

The Swedish National Food Administration released the results from the Swedish survey “Riksmaten 2010-2012” in 2012. Among several findings, it emerged that only 2 out of 10 Swedes eat the daily recommended portion of fruit and vegetables (500 g). Positive findings do show a higher intake compared with 1989, however.

Coop has focused on bringing good priced fruit and vegetables in big campaigns. Brochures about fruit and vegetable with facts, recipes and inspiration are also spread in stores, on coop.se and on the occasion of special events, around the country too.

Coop Sweden puts particular emphasis on the consumption of organic fruits and vegetables. Every week Coop reduces the price of certain products, including organic fruits and vegetables, in order to make them affordable to everyone. In addition, brochures about fruit and vegetable with facts, recipes and inspiration are also spread in stores, online at coop.se and on the occasion of special events.

The Co-operative Groups signed the Public Health Responsibility Fruit and Vegetable Pledge in March 2011 which commits to “do more to create a positive environment that supports and enables people to increase their consumption of fruit and vegetable”. 

Specific actions include:

  • 5 a day messages on leaflets, on screen and radio messages, website and magazines where applicable.
  • Creating a website (http://www.co-operativefood.co.uk/food-matters/health/5-a-day/) which promotes the consumption of 5 daily portions of fruits and vegetables of all colours. It specifically explains how much one portion is and gives the nutritional benefits of each fruit and vegetable. For instance, 14 button mushrooms constitute one portion and are a source of vitamins B2 and B5, folic acid and fibre.
  • Using incentives to encourage customers to try more fruit and vegetables, e.g. money off coupons.

The S Group in Finland has launched "the fruits and vegetable concept" which foresees that (1) product seasonality is defined for each month, with a focus on local products; (2) posters including information, recipes and tips are placed next to the fruit and/or vegetable in question; (3) the concept is communicated strongly via social media.

Since 2015, Coop Denmark has increased its efforts in making organic food more affordable and available to the Danish population. Particular attention was given to the sale of fruits and vegetables, with different products being sold at a convenient price (20-50% less) every week.

Coop Italy has adhered to the governmental program “guadagnare salute” [gain health]; that inter alia promotes the consumption of fruits and vegetables. For more information please refer to the “education and lifestyle” section of this report. 

Participating Co-operatives: 

Coop Sweden; The Co-operative Group (UK); The S Group (Finland); Coop Denmark; Coop Italy

Timeline: 

Coop Sweden: 2013 - today

The Co-operative Group: 2011 - today

Coop Denmark: 2015 - today

Coop Italy: 2012 - today


Initiative: 

From Farm To Fork

Description:

This is a project designed for primary school children to visit one of the Cooperative farms. Children can enjoy a learning experience about the way in which crops are grown and harvested, how animals are bred and why it is important to care about agriculture and to eat healthily. During the visit, children also learn about what organic farming is and the work done by dairy, sheep and chicken farmers on a daily basis. Its objectives are to help children have a better understanding of where the food they eat comes from; to improve and complete children’s knowledge about agriculture and food products and to enable them to make better informed choices when purchasing and consuming food products in the future. Launched in 2005, it is part of the “Green Schools Revolution” project and therefore came to an end in 2016.

Participating Co-operatives: 

The Co-operative Group (UK)

Timeline: 

2005 - 2016


Initiative: 

“Listen to Your Heart” Campaign 

Description:

Eroski, together with seven major food brands, are promoting the campaign “Listen to your heartfor the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Eroski, Danone, Gullón, Kaiku, Kellogg's, Nestle, Puleva and Pascual, plus own brands Eroski Sannia and Eroski Natur, have selected more than 100 recommended products good for cardiovascular health. Cereal bars, yogurts, milk with Omega 3, tuna, sardines, smoothies, salads and nuts are among those offered at the best price during the campaign. The campaign is part of the 'Eroski for your health' strategy. Eroski has pioneered the implementation of measures such as reducing 256 tons of salt, sugar and fat in many products and special labelling with nutritional traffic lights. 

Participating Co-operatives: 

Eroski (Spain)

Timeline: 

2015


Initiative: 

Awareness Campaign On Cholesterol

Description:

To mark the occasion of the Spanish National Day against Cholesterol Diseases on 19 September 2014, Eroski launched an awareness campaign against the fat which accumulates in the veins and arteries and can cause heart disease. In over 20 Eroski centres, hundreds of people were offered free cholesterol controls and information about how to lower the levels in their bodies. For those with high levels, Eroski proposed a three week proactive challenge which involves free advice from a nutritionist and physical trainer. Eroski has long taken the importance of a healthy diet seriously and through its own-brand products, provides its customers food without hydrogenated fats.

Participating Co-operatives: 

Eroski (Spain)

Timeline: 

2014


 

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