Skip to main content

Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Wholefood pioneer Suma sets out sustainability goals in annual report

In recent years, sustainability has been rising up the agenda for the food industry – but what about those for whom sustainability has been a core part of the way they have done business from the beginning?

Suma Wholefoods is a co-operative retailer that supplies over 7,000 responsibly sourced vegan and vegetarian products to businesses and customers across the UK and internationally.  

Founded in 1975 by Reg Taylor, and converted to a worker co-op two years later, Suma’s aim was to provide healthy food to communities in the North of England via a network of independent co-ops and buying groups. 

Co-operative member Sophie Ziegler-Jones draws parallels between Suma and the Rochdale Pioneers’ early motivations. “Whilst Suma wasn’t a co-op when it was initially thought of, [Reg] wanted to provide food that was otherwise unavailable that he was passionate about.” This, she says mirrors “the initial historical aim of the Rochdale co-op: to create fair access to good quality, adulterated food for all.”

Ziegler-Jones adds that while Suma has been vegetarian ever since the beginning, “veganism and vegetarianism have gone from being slightly quirky and unusual to being absolutely mainstream. The only thing that’s changed in 46 years is the availability of products, an understanding of the market and demand.”

Read the rest at Co-operative News


Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
CAPTCHA This question is to verify that you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam.

What does the G in GEO stand for?