East of England Co-op – which covers Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex – signs all 47 of their funeral branches
In one of the biggest sign ups so far, the East of England Co-op Society has just signed the Fair Funerals pledge, committing to provide their most affordable funeral option when someone dies.
In a huge step towards fairness in the industry, the East of England Co-op – headquartered in Ipswich but covering Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex - has signed up all 47 of its locations to the pledge. This is the largest single sign up for the Fair Funerals campaign to date, signalling an independent-led shift towards transparency in the industry.
This news came through the same day that Co-operative Funeralcare announced it's plans to reduce simple funerals by 7%.
About our Fair Funerals campaign
The Fair Funerals campaign was launched in 2014 to tackle funeral poverty at its root with the pledge designed to challenge one part of that problem – the fact that buying a funeral can be confusing and expensive.
When we’re grieving very few of us shop around for the best price and those who do shop around often find a lack of clear, comparable prices as funeral directors are not legally obliged to show them. This means people frequently commit themselves to funerals they cannot afford and get themselves into unmanageable funeral debt.
Funeral costs are continuing to climb - up 88% in 10 years - whilst government support has stagnated during the same period. Benefits for a basic funeral now cover around 37 per cent of the cost, the rest having to be provided by any means possible, regularly forcing vulnerable people into funeral poverty at an already difficult time.
Andrew Dawes, Head of Specialist Services at East of England Co-op says their Society has ‘long championed transparency of pricing for funerals, and ensuring that a dignified funeral service is available to all.
We recognise the rising importance of funeral costs to those who use our services, and our need to ensure that we have a range of professional options tailored to those whose financial means are limited.’
Has your funeral director signed?
More and more funeral directors are signing the Fair Funerals pledge each day, with over 10% of the industry committed to transparent, fair prices. You can help make the industry more transparent by asking your local funeral director to commit to the pledge.