Bastard will depart this month, leaving the department he headed since joining the group’s Manchester head office from the North Eastern Co-operative Society in 1989, where he was the BWS buyer.
During his time career Bastard has won accolades, including a Lifetime achievement Award at OLN’s Drinks Retailing Awards, for his commitment to staff training and innovative ranging.
Mike Osmond, commercial director, The Co-operative Food, said: “Paul has decided to leave The Co-operative to explore other interests.
“He will be leaving the business later this month and has made a much-valued contribution to the development of The Co-operative’s wine range over the
years and is well known within the wine industry, and I and the team wish him well.”
The retailer said it had started the hunt for a new category head, adding it was “actively searching internally and externally for a replacement”.