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Suma Membership

Suma Membership

Because we’re unlike most organisations, so is our recruitment process. We don’t normally recruit for specific skills, we recruit for good people. We are looking for people who will make effective co-owners of Suma, who can run it now and steward it for the long-term. If your application is successful you’ll start working at Suma as a Trial Member with the long-term goal of becoming a Suma Member. Once through an initial trial period, Suma members are permanent worker owners of Suma, with the benefits and responsibilities that come with that.

As a member of Suma you can expect some great things:

  1. a good wage and benefits
  2. the chance to do a range of jobs – from driving to accounts to sales to cooking – during your career here
  3. opportunities to take responsibility for different parts of the business
  4. an equal say on the big issues affecting us
  5. a culture of democracy and openness you’d be hard-pressed to find almost anywhere else
  6. Oh, and an amazing cooked lunch or dinner every day at our Elland site

As a Suma Member you’re not just a worker, you’re an owner. You’ll need to put a lot into participating in the business.  You will be expected to:

  1. engage in the big strategic issues and work hard every day
  2. take responsibility, be involved in the democracy, and put yourself forward to make things happen
  3. multi-skill, doing a variety of jobs at any one time, and many more during your time at Suma.  You could find yourself picking in the warehouse, driving our trucks, taking customer orders, chasing payments and co-ordinating teams

Suma Member Recruitment Process


When you apply to Suma you are asked to demonstrate what you will be able to bring to the business.  We look for your ability to work co-operatively, your willingness to take responsibility as a co-owner of our co-op, as well as your experiences.

You begin by completing an application form and if successful go on to an open day and, subsequently, an interview.


If you’re successful then you’re most likely to spend the first few months of your job working in the warehouse or driving.  You will prove your ability to work safely, quickly and accurately in some of Suma’s core areas of work.

You’ll be reviewed each month, getting input and feedback from people across the co-op.

Trial Membership

Once through your initial probation, trial membership proper begins. For six to nine months, you’ll work in a variety of departments, and will organise inductions in every part of the business. You’ll have targets set and regular reviews, with feedback needed from people across the co-op.

It’s a tough process but ultimately you’ll have a good understanding of the business. You’ll be in a great position to make informed decisions as a Suma owner.