Press releases

Waitrose to hold first CSR advisory board meeting

Monday 27 January 2014

Waitrose will today hold its first corporate social responsibility board meeting - made up of distinguished independent experts from a diverse range of specialisms.

The board's aim will be to challenge and influence business activity at the highest level, supporting senior Waitrose management1 with an outside perspective on all elements of the retailer's CSR strategy.

External board members are:

  • Chair - Rt Rev Bishop James Jones: Bishop of Liverpool until 2013
  • Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE: Master of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge; previously Director-General of the National Trust
  • Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE: actress, author, independent producer, working peer and Chancellor of Exeter University; an active advocate for diversity and equality issues and the welfare, care and education of children throughout the world
  • Lord Donald Curry: renowned agricultural expert and Chair of Waitrose farm The Leckford Estate
  • Elizabeth Buchanan: Special Advisor to Waitrose
  • Professor Wayne Powell: Director, Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, University of Aberwystwyth
  • Paul Vallely: Visiting Professor of Public Ethics at the University of Chester, and co-author of the report of the Commission for Africa.

The board will meet quarterly, with each meeting focusing on one of the four 'pillars' of the Waitrose CSR strategy: Treating People Fairly; Treading Lightly; Living Well; and Championing British.

Today's meeting will discuss the retailer's commitment to 'treating people fairly' and how this can be further developed. Already the retailer encourages Partners (staff) to volunteer, while being fully paid by the business - and makes significant donations to good causes local to its shops through the Community Matters (green tokens) scheme.

Says Waitrose managing director Mark Price: 'Our aim with the CSR board is to challenge ourselves and set even higher standards for responsible business practice. CSR isn't something we do it is everything we do. That is why we have drawn leading experts from various fields to help shape our future thinking.'

Says Rt Rev Bishop James Jones, Chair of the Waitrose corporate social responsibility board:  'The role of retailing is constantly adapting to a rapidly changing world. The retailer bridges the relationship between suppliers and the customers and their communities. The board will build on the Waitrose Way, treading the earth lightly, treating people fairly, trading locally and enabling all stakeholders to travel well through life. The expertise of the new CSR board will be harnessed to ensure Waitrose stays in the vanguard of being socially responsible and commercially effective.'

Notes to editors

1 - Waitrose panel members:

  • Mark Price, Managing Director
  • Mark Williamson, Commercial Director
  • Rupert Thomas, Marketing Director
  • Nigel Keen, Development Director
  • Helen Hyde, Personnel Director
  • Benet Northcote, Head of Corporate CSR, the John Lewis Partnership
  • Connor Shaw - Waitrose branch Partner and team leader
  • Secretary - Quentin Clark, Head of Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing, Waitrose.

Waitrose - Waitrose, Britain's favourite supermarket*, has 303 shops in the UK and Channel Islands and is consistently achieving sales growth significantly ahead of the market**. Its strong performance has been driven by the success of the essential Waitrose range, Brand Price Match, an unmatchable top tier of products and free delivery for online shopping, as well as a long term commitment to sourcing the UK's finest local and regional foods. Waitrose combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced combined with high standards of customer service.

* Which? Annual Supermarket Satisfaction Survey, Favourite Food & Grocery Retailer at Verdict's annual Consumer Satisfaction Awards; Favourite Supermarket at Good Housekeeping Awards
** Kantar Worldpanel

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For further information please contact:

Jess Hughes
Corporate Communications Manager, Waitrose
Telephone: 01344 824294
Mobile: 07764 676850