Company Shop Founder Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

12 November 2019
Company Shop Founder Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

John Marren, the Founder and Chairman of the UK’s leading commercial redistribution organisation, Company Shop Group, has this week been presented with the IGD’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award, which was specially selected by the IGD’s Board of Trustees, recognises the exceptional contribution that John has made to the food and drink industry, and transformative social impact his pioneering work has delivered in communities across the country.

After buying his first corner shop outside of Barnsley almost 50 years ago and seeing first-hand the surpluses which are inevitably created in our food supply chain, John developed a sophisticated redistribution model which today provides a trusted and sustainable surplus solution to all the major retailers and manufacturers.

By purchasing surplus food and household products from the supply chain and redistributing them to people working in food manufacturing and later the emergency services and NHS – John has helped to deliver transformative social, economic and environmental benefits to the industry and wider society.

As well as redistributing surplus through Company Shop, John wanted to do more to help people in disadvantaged communities and to tackle the dual challenge of food waste and food poverty. In 2013, John launched Community Shop, the UK’s first social supermarket chain.

The now multi award-winning social enterprise ensures this surplus stock is accessible to those in the lowest income communities, at heavily discounted prices. Community Shop, which operates a Community Hub and Kitchen, provides life-changing personal development training, as well as high-quality, low cost food and the results over the last five years have been transformational.

Under John’s leadership and founding principle of “good business, doing good”, Company Shop continues to be a rapidly expanding and successful British business. It has received national acclaim, most recently being presented with its second Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Sustainable Development Category in just four years and John has personally been appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant for South Yorkshire.

John has channelled his life’s work and unrivalled experience at the heart of the food and drink industry to support the sector, protect the planet and build stronger individuals and more confident communities.


John Marren on receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award:

“I was absolutely stunned to hear my name called out for the Lifetime Achievement Award. I’ve been coming to the IGD awards for decades, to celebrate the great work of our partners in the food industry and I’m incredibly humbled that my efforts over the last fifty years, to demonstrate the value and potential in surplus, have been recognised. 

“I’m so proud to be a part of the food industry today and to be a partner to the many retailers and brands working so hard to deliver a more sustainable future for our sector. Our business has grown and changed a lot since I opened our first store, but our fantastic team are living and breathing the same values as on day one - doing the right thing and aiming for the extraordinary. Here’s to the next fifty years for Company Shop Group.”
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