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A big Cooperative of consumers
Unicoop Firenze is the biggest cooperative of consumers in terms of members and sales in Italy.
The origins of Unicoop go back to the XIX century when, on 1st November 1891 at Sesto Fiorentino, the original cooperative was set up from which, following a series of mergers, the current society was eventually born. The name Unicoop Firenze was given to the cooperative in 1973, with the merger of three big Tuscan cooperatives: Toscocoop, Coop Etruria and Unicoop Empoli. In 1998 the last big merger, Unicoop – Cooperative Pisane Riunite, took place.

The fundamental difference between this cooperative and the other big distribution chains is in the social objectives that it sets out:
The non-division of the profits amongst members, the use of resources for the purpose of solidarity and sociality, the careful running of the sales points to guarantee the economic advantage and quality of the products.

Unicoop Florence directly runs a sales network of 6 hypermarkets, 41 supermarkets, 37 small supermarkets and 12 traditional shops ( data given on January 2006), situated in seven provinces of Tuscany: Arezzo, Florence, Lucca, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena.

From the year 2000, Unicoop Florence, together with the world of secular and catholic voluntary work, has been dedicated to the campaign for solidarity “The Heart Melts”  http://www.ilcuoresiscioglie.it, to encourage long distance support of children in many economically disadvantaged realities of the South of the World. Adoptions enable these children to have food, healthcare assistance and the possibility of access to school education. In these same countries, the cooperative also finances projects to realize schools and reception centers, guaranteeing medical care and creating work opportunities.

The group’s data, updated on 31st December 2005
Sales 1.961 € (in millions)
Members 991.257
Staff 7.439
Sales points 96
Sales area 151.015 ms

The CR Firenze Foundation is a foundation of banking origin, a non-profit organization that pursues the social interest through a careful program of investments and projects in its area of intervention: Florence and the Metropolitan City, the provinces of Grosseto and Arezzo.

The history of the CR Firenze Foundation began in 1829 when 100 citizens, on their own initiative with a share capital of 6,000 florins divided into 100 shares of 60 florins each, set up the “Società della Cassa di Risparmio” as a private company. in order to favor the formation of savings and social security in the less well-off classes.

In April 1992 (Amato Law 218/90), the banking activity was transferred to the newly established joint-stock company Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze Spa by the original Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze.

In July 2000, after the approval of the new statute by the Ministry of the Treasury, the banking foundations definitively assumed private legal status (Ciampi Law 461/98). The CR Firenze Foundation, like all other foundations of banking origin, is subject to the control and supervision of the Ministry of the Treasury, which verifies compliance with the law and the statutes, sound and prudent management, the profitability of the assets and the effective protection of the interests contemplated in the statutes (art. 10 Legislative Decree 153/99).

Today, the Foundation, taking up the legacy of the original Cassa, pursues its statutory purposes by operating in Tuscany with particular attention to the Florentine area using the proceeds of its considerable assets through which it carries out and finances projects. The CR Firenze Foundation operates in 5 sectors: the promotion of culture and art together with the conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage; the protection of the landscape, the environment and agriculture; scientific research and technological innovations also in the medical health field; youth growth and formation; volunteering and solidarity. Read more about the fondazione on this website.