[Music plays over general scenes] It is an absolute honour for me to address my first Co-op AGM as your Chief Executive. It matters that the Co-op is here not just to us but to the nation. We do stand for a better way of doing business, one that puts commercial success at the service of you our members and the communities where you live. We’ve actually created a fund of £2m and that £2m will go into supporting young people in disadvantaged areas of the country and start to tackle loneliness which is as big a deal for young people as it is for old people in the community. The nature of the co-operative is family I just realised. The co-operative nature in a good family, with all the arguments as well, and the resolutions and the falling out and the making up and the building for better. Can I say a big thank you to the Co-op for this commitment around British meat. Because again, the future’s going to be about transparency; it’s going to be about collaboration; building relationships; security of supply; Britishness. And nothing gives confidence to British farming more than this statement which the Co-op have made in the last three weeks, and we thank you very much as a farming community. And what an extraordinary job our colleagues have done over the last year. In every store, in every office, funeral home distribution centre, and everywhere: they have striven to put our Co-op back on tap. And I never tire of saying thank you to our colleagues for their terrific work. They are rightly proud of our Co-op and we are rightly proud of them. Thank you for everything that you have done. Next year we’ll also start to report on pay by gender. There’s lots of admin and data.
Yes – thank you [for applause] We will do that. We’re in the middle of collecting all the data to get those numbers together and we’ll publish in the spring and we’ll be able to share that first cut at next year’s AGM and then we can track and make changes. Yeah, I think I was good. You know, it’s always great to have everybody together. I think for me it was really useful to see our members’ opinions. Today’s like a sneak preview into what goes on in the whole of Co-op which is very interesting. I thought today’s AGM was so inspiring. It’s always a fun event to be here but this year I got a sense that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts – this really is a movement. Different aspects of The Co-op Way all coming together: the members, the traders, us in Fairtrade, working with local causes too. This is a community of Commerce – it’s thrilling to be here. If we keep those values we can’t go very far wrong and the others will all be playing catch up. Our task in the coming years is to demonstrate why the Co-op is different, why the Co-op matters. And we do matter – we matter more than ever. When our millions of members need all the help they can get to make ends meet – the Co-op matters. At a time when communities are under pressure – the Co-op matters. And when there are causes and campaigns that need a powerful voice – the Co-op matters. In an age when trust and integrity are in short supply – the Co-op matters. I’m excited and humbled to have been given the responsibility to lead this great society And I look forward to many years of serving members and customers as together we create a stronger and much loved Co-op. Thank you.