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Ethical Policy

This Policy states the standards of Suma Wholefoods covering:

  • Employment and Structure
  • Products
  • Working Practices

Employment and Structure

Suma is a fully democratic workers’ cooperative. All cooperative members and employees receive the same net hourly rate of pay, no matter what their job or responsibilities.

The Cooperative’s policy and direction is decided by general meeting of the members. Operation of
the business is achieved by the Coordinators within a flat management structure. Fulfillment of the
democratically agreed Business Plan is overseen by the elected management committee.

All members have input into the direction and policy of the Cooperative.

We strive to be an equal opportunities employer. We have a 25-year history of working to be an equal
opportunities employer.

We encourage our members and employees to learn new skills, take on new responsibilities and make
improvements to the Cooperative’s working practices.

We appreciate the benefits of diversity in the workplace and strive to encourage it within Suma.

Products – Suma Buying guidelines

To source goods at the best possible quality and price within acceptable ethical parameters. Goods must fufil Suma’s criteria, namely:-

  • We aim to promote ‘green’ and healthy eating. We will not knowingly stock products which contain
    harmful food additives.
  • All our products are carefully sourced as Vegetarian. Where eggs are an ingredient they are free-range.
  • Preferences are given to organic, fair trade and cooperative production
  • Independent manufacturers are preferred
  • Bodycare, cosmetic and household products are all cruelty-free.
  • Sourced as locally as practible to limit food miles.
  • Sourced with minimal environmental impact in terms of production, transportation and packaging.
  • GM free
  • We aim to promote a market for new and innovative green products
  • We aim to avoid buying from countries or companies with proven poor human rights records.

Working Practice

We aim to operate in a way which balances running a successful business with the environmental impact of
our actions.

We will explore the viability of ‘green’ innovations and new ways of operating e.g. energy use, delivery
vehicles etc.

We will recycle as many assets as possible. Where re-use and repair is no longer a practical or efficient
option, we will pass on, sell or recycle as appropriate.

We strive to minimise food wastage by stock rotation, careful storage and handling.

Palm Oil Statement

Wherever possible we avoid palm oil or palm oil derivatives in our Suma Brand products. When there is no viable alternative, we only use palm oil that has been RSPO certified. We know that certification is a complex issue and keep ourselves up to date with best practice and will work with suppliers to source organic and/or identity preserved palm oil.

All Suma Brand products have been assessed by looking at the raw material ingredient specifications and by speaking to the suppliers of all Suma brand products to determine:

  • Type of palm oil
  • Type of certification
  • Percentage of palm in overall ingredients

We used this information to calculate the overall tonnage of palm products handled for Suma brand products and report on this yearly.
Only 29 unique product lines out of our entire range of over 1,300 Suma Brand products contain palm oil. Within these 29, there are 65 size variations where some lines are packaged in different sizes but have the same ingredients. We continue to assess if this figure can be reduced and are discussing alternatives with our suppliers.

Toxic ingredients statement

There are no parabens, triclosan or phthalates in Suma products

Suma shampoo, soap and conditioner

Suma’s range of shampoos, soaps and conditioners is made in the UK, vegan and does not contain parabens, triclosan or phthalates.
Our range is free from artificial preservatives, colours and fragrances (we use essential oils to scent our products) and we guarantee our products have not been the subject of animal testing by Suma or our suppliers.

Suma handmade soap is made using the traditional cold process method of soap making, which generates zero by-product. Suma soaps are poured, cut, stamped, and packed by hand – using as little energy as possible.

Suma bodycare products do not contain methylisothiazolinone or phosphates and are GMO free.

Ecoleaf cleaning products

Suma is proud to offer a range of environmentally friendly cleaning products that are non-toxic and safe for use around the house. The Ecoleaf range is derived from plant extracts and based on biodegradable and non-hazardous ingredients. None of the of the Ecoleaf range contains parabens, triclosan or phthalates.

Ecoleaf products are made in the UK. The bottles and containers are recyclable, and you can buy in bulk to further reduce the need for new bottles to be produced. All of Ecoleaf’s range boasts the Vegan Society logo, and they are animal cruelty-free.

We are proud to say that our bodycare and household cleaning ranges are certified by the Vegan Society, Cruelty Free International (BUAV), and have been awarded Ethical Consumer’s ‘Best Buy’ status.

Triclosan is an antibacterial agent and preservative used in personal care and home-cleaning products.
Phthalates are chemical plasticisers often added to soap or synthetic fragrances.
Parabens are a group of compounds widely used as an antifungal agent or preservative.
These ingredients are all thought to act as potential endocrine system disruptors.

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