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Our Values

Our Values


We value honesty and transparency in our relationships with our suppliers, customers and consumers. We minimise food sent to landfill thanks to partnerships with food banks and using unsellable items in our canteen. We strive to promote healthy lifestyles through our product listing choices and sharing informative articles and information.


Thanks to our 40 year heritage and long-standing partnerships, we understand our customers and support their aims. Our Buyers are committed to providing high quality, diligently sourced products; we do the hard work, so you don’t have to.


Everything we sell is 100% vegetarian. All our products are cruelty-free and animal welfare is a top priority in our sourcing. We offer a broad range of Fairtrade, organic and locally sourced products.


The choices we make as a business are made democratically and transparently through collective decision-making, and we have an ethos of shared responsibility and commitment. We will continue to adhere to the seven co-operative principles as set out by the International Co-operative Alliance.

Suma staff are given paid time to plant some trees, pictured here in 2018

Our environment

In partnership with environmental group Treesponsibility on their CO2mittment scheme, Suma plants in the region of 5,300 trees each year to offset the carbon produced by our fleet of delivery trucks. Native species are planted to lock carbon into the soil and at the same time providing a sustainable resource, by means of coppicing the plantation as it matures.

The nascent woodlands we have planted already constitute a carbon sink capable of absorbing several thousand tonnes of CO2 over the next 50 years.

Suma staff are given paid time to plant some of the trees and Treesponsibility also work with local schools and other groups to plant trees.

Suma staff are given paid time to plant some trees, pictured here in 2018

We’ve taken stewardship of the length of the Calder River close to our site, where we pick up litter and remove invasive species such as Himalayan balsam and knotweed. The river is a fantastic wildlife corridor; we see herons, dragonflies and the occasional kingfisher in the summer.

We continue to encourage wildlife to thrive in our local area and have built bee habitat, an insect hotel and wildlife pond.

Using less, avoiding waste

As part of our commitment to our environment we are constantly looking at ways of limiting our consumption and use of resources.

We do this by…

  1. Nurturing a culture of sustainability by providing workshops on packaging waste, highlighting the importance of recycling and having recycling mentors in place in each department
  2. Linking with WRAP’s Recycling Week initiative increasing our recycling bins on site
  3. Getting involved in high-profile campaigns like the Marine Conservation Society’s plastic challenge, to raise awareness of this finite resource
  4. Investigating ways to reduce the use of single-use plastic across our business, for instance by providing each worker a reusable water bottle
  5. Aim for a realistic reduction in energy-related transport CO2 emissions
  6. Investigating alternative fuel for our fleet including electric vehicles for London and hydrogen for longer distance deliveries.

Our community and partnerships

Community is important to us and we have many links with suppliers, customers, schools and charities in our region.

We work hard to develop our relationships with local food banks and food waste campaigns. For example we’ve sent some of our damaged and short-dated stock to Armley Junk-tion, a pay-as-you feel community café in Leeds. This means we’re preventing lots of food waste from going to landfill so it can be used to create healthy meals instead; it’s a win-win situation.

We’re committed to spreading the word about why co-operation offers an equitable and sustainable business model. We share this message by providing tours for business studies students and offering work experience placements for high schools and colleges. As one of the UK’s biggest worker co-ops, we’re keen to show that fairness, transparency and sustainability can go hand in hand with commercial success.

Find out more about our co-operative commitments.


Our commitment to Fairtrade is based on a deeply held belief in a universal right to economic justice, self-empowerment and freedom from exploitation. We’ve been behind Fairtrade from the beginning; we proudly stocked the first Fairtrade certified product, Green & Black’s Maya Gold Chocolate, and our range has since grown to almost 600 products, including many Suma branded lines.

Genetically Modified Food Policy

Suma does not stock foods that would need to be labelled as containing genetically modified organisms under current legislation.  Our policy is not to purchase or stock any raw materials, packaging or finished product that contains / may contain any GMO materials or that may have been contaminated with any materials of this nature.


Buying statement

We source goods at the best possible quality and price within an ethical sourcing framework. See our full statement

Palm oil statement

We source all palm oil used in Suma brand products from sustainable sources. See our full statement

Anti-slavery statement

We’re committed to complying with the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code for anti-slavery. See our full statement.

BPA Statement

We require all suppliers of Suma Brand products to provide information about the presence of BPA in the packaging to ensure the amount is below the legal limit. We continue keep abreast of current research and until a safe, tested alternative to BPA is developed, we feel that it is better to stock Suma Brand products deemed officially to be safe, than to encourage a move to an alternative that may turn out to be worse. See our full statement.

Toxic Ingredients Statement

There are no parabens, triclosan or phthalates in Suma products. See our full statement.

Bee Welfare

See our full Bee Welfare statement.