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FAQ’s

Coronavirus

We are taking the threat of Coronavirus very seriously, protecting and monitoring our worker’s health and the continuity of our supply chains. We’re so grateful to our dedicated teams who are working incredibly hard to keep Suma running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We are here for you and available to take your orders. Our phone lines are open from 8am – 4pm Monday to Friday.

Thank you for your continued support and patience at this challenging time. Stay safe.

  1. Out of stock levels continue to recover from the recent pandemic-related surge in buying. Suppliers have worked incredibly hard to meet demand but a few have yet to fully catch up. We are all working to government guidelines. Social distancing impacts on the speed of production and stock turnaround, and many suppliers are operating with a reduced workforce. Further afield, lockdown overseas has affected overall supply of raw materials or branded goods, such as sugar from Mauritius, and coconut and jack fruit products from Sri Lanka.
    Key Suma brand lines affected over the Covid-19 period which have now returned to normal stock levels include toilet roll, all pasta lines, pre-packs and bagged down goods. These should be back to normal levels by mid-July. Lines that are still affected include other brand pasta, all flours, tomato products and sugars. To help meet current demand for hand sanitiser, we have increased our range from brands such as Dr Bronner’s, Tints of Nature and Jack and Jill.
    In the next few weeks you may see some packaging changes for some products where pumps are hard to source, such as hand soap and cleaning products, as brands adapt to ensure supply isn’t interrupted.
    We continue to carry out ongoing risk assessments of worker health and increasing our flexible working measures to allow more people to work from home. We are protecting worker wellbeing by providing hand sanitisers, extra cleaning of workspaces and advice on personal hygiene measures. Our buyers are reviewing our supply chains, monitoring supply and reacting where necessary.
  2. We are experiencing unprecedented levels of ordering due to changes in buying habits due to concerns around the Coronavirus, and are operating with a reduced workforce. We are continuing to work hard to keep up with this demand, and we ask you to please bear with us at this exceedingly busy time. Please do keep an eye on our social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) as we put updates on there as often as we can.
    We are limiting the number of high-demand products per customer to ensure we can provide these products to as many people as possible. This is being accessed daily and as soon as the supply returns to its normal levels these limits will be removed.
  3. We are experiencing high volumes of calls at the moment. We’ve also had to change our usual shift patterns, and as a result you may struggle to reach us by phone at certain times of day.
    If you can’t find the information you need on our website or social media pages, please email the relevant department:

    1. Sales sales@suma.coop
    2. Customer services customerservices@suma.coop
    3. Distribution traffic@suma.coop
    4. Facilities buildingservices@suma.coop
    5. Customer Accounts claims@suma.coop
    6. Credit control creditc@suma.coop
    7. Purchase Accounts pa@suma.coop
    8. Quality Control qc@suma.coop
    9. Product Information info@suma.coop
  4. Due to the current unpredictability and changing demand, we have had a number of suppliers requesting that we withdraw current promotions they are running with us. We have no desire to put more pressure on our supply chain partners so are working with them when asked. We have also withdrawn some of our own promotions and have emailed customers to notify them about this. As a result, there will be some products that will regrettably be reverting to normal trade price. Where this happens it will be clearly noted on your invoice.
  5. Customers must tell us before delivery if they, or someone at the address, are self-isolating or suffering from the symptoms of Covid-19 so we can take all necessary precautions during delivery.
  6. Drivers are key workers and play a vital role in ensuring we can continue to deliver food and other supplies to local communities around the UK. Due to large order volumes some deliveries are being made by delivery partners, rather than on our own fleet. Our drivers are making kerbside only deliveries. This means that they cannot help unload into your premises. Please do bear in mind that when the driver arrives they will have limited time to unload. Please help them do their job safely by observing social distancing.
  7. Suma refers to the NHS website, Gov.uk website and World Health organisation (WHO) when making decisions on how to protect our workers and the public. Currently WHO advice states that face masks should not be worn by healthy people unless they are caring for a person with COVID 19 or they have a cough or sneezes. In addition, the use of gloves does not replace the need for appropriate hand hygiene, which should be performed frequently.
  8. We cannot accept collection orders from our site. We can deliver orders to you but of course, this is as and when we can get to you.
  9. On its website, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) states that food has not been identified as a likely source or route of transmission of the virus. It goes on to say however that this is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation with ongoing outbreak situations. Even though the virus can stay on surfaces like food containers for a few hours or up to several days (depending on the type of surface), it is very unlikely that the virus will persist on a surface after being moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures.

    1. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
  10. The World Health Organization advises that the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low. The risk of catching the virus from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures is also very low. While food packaging is not known to present a specific risk, efforts should be made to ensure it is cleaned and handled in line with usual food safety practices.
  11. We have a team of people who are monitoring developments in the news, via our suppliers and by receiving industry-specific advice. We are primarily being guided by information published on the NHS and government websites (see links below).

    1. Latest government advice and information
    2. NHS guidance
  12. Since the start of the pandemic, Suma has taken the welfare of its workers, customers and suppliers very seriously. We immediately formed a group of people who meet regularly to review the latest guidance from the relevant UK government bodies to ensure we are taking measures to comply with said guidance. When needed, the group have also gained supporting advice from the World Health Organisation.
    All of these measures are captured and updated through a detailed risk assessment covering all of our sites, and the different job roles we have, from drivers of our delivery runs to those unloading products into our warehouses.
    Here are just some of the key control measures that we have in place:

    1. Making PPE available to all Suma workers who have a need for it
    2. Adequate hand washing facilities available at all sites and departments, with soap, sanitising and cleaning provisions being frequently monitored and topped up
    3. Only allowing essential visitors on site, such as contractors for emergency works. They are given the same information about safety and hygiene as other Suma workers
    4. Delivery drivers remaining in a safe location within our yard so they are not entering the building, unless in need of medical attention
    5. A firm policy to identify vulnerable workers and prioritise their need to not be on work premises
    6. Increasing our home-working capacity, and furloughing in place for specific cases in line with government instruction
    7. Regular cleaning of office touch points, such as phones and door handles, and a dedicated additional truck cleaning regime for our drivers
    8. A healthcare helpline to support workers with stress, which is open to all workers during the current period
    9. Instructing our drivers to only make kerbside deliveries, to reduce the risk of contact with potential carriers of SARS-CoV-2
    10. A firm policy on social distancing, to ensure all workers are at a minimum of two metres apart at all times.

    Our Health and Safety department will continue to investigate all reliable sources of information relating to the COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 risk, as advocated by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, and regularly updates the risk assessment, which is shared with workers.

Delivery

  1. We currently despatch orders to all of the UK including, Scotland and Wales. We can export orders under special arrangements to Ireland and other parts of the world.
    We serve most of the mainland UK from our own fleet of vehicles. In other areas we despatch your order by carrier instead of using our own transport. In areas where we deliver by carrier the minimum order value is higher than in areas we can reach on our trucks. This is to cover the increased cost of delivery and handling charge.
    More delivery information
  2. To qualify for free delivery your order must meet the minimum order value. (see delivery map for details) Values are ex VAT. Orders that are below the minimum value will be subject to a handling charge.
    More delivery information
  3. Under circumstances where Suma cannot deliver using our own fleet, we use a carrier service. Hiring a carrier to deliver chilled/frozen goods is expensive, and not cost efficient for the sake of delivering a few chilled/frozen items. For large chilled or frozen orders delivery may be possible. Please contact our Customer Support team to discuss this option:

    +44 (0)1422 313843

    More delivery information

  4. If you require delivery before your arranged delivery day, we may be able to do so. If it is not possible to send it on our own fleet we can offer a next day delivery service, which may incur a carriage charge. Please contact us to discuss your requirements on

    +44 (0)1422 313856

    More delivery information

Ordering

  1. We send pricelists to anyone who meets our customer requirements and wants to place an order. If you would like to request a catalogue please contact our New Business Team

    +44 (0)1422 313861

    newbusiness@suma.coop

    Please include your name, type of business, telephone number, address and how you heard of Suma.
    The current catalogue and back issues are available for download from our website. The main listing is provided in Microsoft Excel format and both the special offers and new products as .pdf documents. To sign up for this service please contact Customer Information on:

    +44 (0)1422 313845

    info@suma.coop

  2. The first stage involved in opening an account is to take a look at the Suma product range (website or catalogue) and read over our terms of trade. The next step is to contact our new business team who will register your details and assign you a customer number.

    Enquire here

    +44 (0)1422 313861

    newbusiness@suma.coop

  3. Suma is primarily a trade wholesaler, and so only supplies direct to the public in areas where there is no Suma stockist within reasonable traveling distance. To find out if we are able to supply you, enquire with New Business:

    Enquire here

    +44 (0)1422 313861

    newbusiness@suma.coop

  4. Order balances/back orders:

    We will try to fulfil your requirements and send you everything you order from us. However, stocks are subject to supply fluctuations from manufacturers and suppliers. Where we fail to deliver an item we will clearly indicate this on your invoice, but cannot then send it later. If you still require the item, please re-order as part of your next order.

    Payment:

    Strictly payment on receipt of goods, or pre-paid by one working week. Please note that we are no longer able to accept payments in cash. Cheques can be accepted after bank details have been taken. Re-presented or returned cheques will be charged at £10 each time. Payment by debit card (Switch, debit or other) is acceptable by arrangement. We reserve the right not to accept orders. Credit card payment may only be accepted by special arrangement. All goods remain our property until paid for.

    Making payments:

    Your Customer Number is vital when identifying a payment and allocating it to the correct account.

    Paying by cheque:

    Please ensure all details on your cheque are clear and correct, as banks read cheques by machine now, which can only see block capitals. Your customer number should be printed on the back of your cheque along with a short remittance advice listing the invoice numbers you are paying.

    Paying by bacs:

    Please supply the bank with your Customer Number for identification purposes.

    Credit:

    Customers applying for credit should note that 2 trade references will be required. Also customers applying for, or receiving credit, should do so with the understanding that we may make a search with a credit reference agency which will keep a record of that search and may share that information with other businesses. We may also make inquiries about the principal directors with a credit reference agency. In all cases please refer to our Credit Control team to apply.

    Returns:

    All customers are required to sign for their goods and this signature acknowledges receipt of all items priced on the invoice in good condition, so please check carefully. Items ordered and received in good condition cannot be returned unless of merchantable quality and solely at the discretion of Suma. We would appreciate a verbal claim as soon as possible, but in any event we must have a written claim within 7 days of delivery or collection, otherwise we reserve the right to dismiss the claim. Goods will only be accepted for credit if accompanied by an invoice number. This is for our mutual convenience, as claims cannot be processed without it.

    If you would like to return goods ordered in error please download and complete this form and return the goods and form to your Suma driver on your next delivery. Once received back here we will raise a credit for you.

    If you would like us to raise a credit for missing or damaged items please download and complete the form then email back to claims@suma.coop

    You can email claims@suma.coop directly but please ensure you include the invoice number, item code, quantity and reason for credit.

    Please note, we do not accept incorrectly ordered chilled or frozen items for credit other than at point of delivery by a Suma vehicle due to Environmental Health considerations.

    Chilled goods:

    Credit will not be given for reasons of short shelf life if the products fall within our declared minimum shelf life (as published in the Suma catalogue). Credit will only be given for reasons of quality.

    Carrier returns:

    Customers delivered to by carrier (not by a Suma vehicle) who wish to return goods for whatever reason must obtain agreement from us first. Goods can only be returned to the carrier if they have an uplift note for them. In addition, should your order arrive in an unsatisfactory condition you MUST sign the carriers delivery note (not the SUMA invoice) as ‘received damaged’. We may refuse credit if these procedures are not followed.

    Deliveries:

    The minimum order for delivery varies (see the Delivery Map for details). Our delivery service transports the goods to your address. Owing to a demanding schedule, our drivers greatly appreciate assistance with unloading, especially with large sacks.
    For Suma’s full terms of trade click here.

  5. If you phone your order through to our sales team, we can advise you of any possible out of stocks and help you to choose replacements so we can fulfill your order.
    For written, faxed or emailed orders, if you would like a substitute sent where your first choice is out of stock, please specify by product code – our pickers have no way of finding an appropriate substitute without this. Any customers making an order via our trade website www.sumawholesale.com or by using EPOS will receive an email detailing any out of stocks or lows stock levels on their order. This provides you some notification, and you are able to make an additional order if needed.
    If there are particular items that are especially important to you, ring our Customer Information department with product codes before compiling the order and we can tell you what stock levels look like according to our computer (but remember stocks may occasionally be withdrawn at short notice due to short date or quality problems.)
  6. We can export orders under special arrangements. Contact our international sales team:

    +44 (0)1422 313842

    Email Us

    More information on export ordering can be found here.

  7. We hold details that are used to service your account only,please see our full privacy policy.
  8. There are benefits to collecting direct from us if you are able to do so. The minimum order value is reduced to £100 ex VAT. You can also benefit from a 3% discount on collected orders over £150. When you place your order ask the order taker to book you in for a collection time. You can find more information about Suma’s collection service here.
  9. We ask that for orders for trade need to be placed by noon of the picking day, and food groups by 4pm on the working day before picking. This provides us with sufficient time to get your order picked and loaded.
  10. In order to comply with new licensing legislation, we can only accept orders for alcohol from individuals who we can establish are aged 18 years or over. As a consequence we will need to arrange a password with you to be used every time you place an order. If you would like to order from us but do not already have a password in place, please send some proof of age (photocopy of driving licence, passport etc), your chosen password and account number to Suma Customer Information.
  11. Please note that we are no longer able to accept payments in cash.

    Paying by cheque:

    Please ensure all details on your cheque are clear and correct. Your customer number should be printed on the back of your cheque along with a short remittance advice listing the invoice numbers you are paying.

    Paying by BACS:

    Please supply the bank with your customer number for identification purposes, any remittance advice should be sent to Suma.

    Paying by debit card:

    Payment by debit card (switch, debit or other) is acceptable by arrangement.

    Payment by credit card:

    Only accepted by special arrangement.

Brexit

  1. Brexit FAQs

Quality Control

  1. Product Specifications Audit

Buying

  1. Suma products are primarily sold at independent health food shops around the UK. If you would like information on your local stockist please contact Customer Information on:

    +44 (0)1422 313845

    info@suma.coop

    Alternatively you can buy in wholesale quantities online at:
    www.sumawholesale.com.

Product Information

  1. For stock enquires call Customer Information who can tell you if we currently hold an item, and when it is being delivered if currently out of stock. The team can also provide information on any current sourcing issues.

Problems

  1. Customers who have not ordered for over three months are cleared from our automatic mailing list. This is to minimise unnecessary mail outs to customers who order infrequently. Occasionally some pricelists go missing in the post, we encourage customers to notify us if they believe this has happened, and we will send out a replacement. In any circumstance if you are a customer and need a pricelist, contact Customer Information with your account number and we will post one to you by royal mail first class. We also provide an electronic version of the pricelist, which saves on paper and is more appropriate for some customers. To request this service email with your account number, at:

    pricelist@suma.coop

  2. If you do not receive billed for goods, or receive unsatisfactory items then you are able to make a claim.

    If you would like to return goods ordered in error please download and complete this form and return the goods and form to your Suma driver on your next delivery. Once received back here we will raise a credit for you.

    If you would like us to raise a credit for missing or damaged items please download and complete the form then email back to claims@suma.coop

    You can email claims@suma.coop directly but please ensure you include the invoice number, item code, quantity and reason for credit.

    Please note, we do not accept incorrectly ordered chilled or frozen items for credit other than at point of delivery by a Suma vehicle due to Environmental Health considerations.

Health/Diet

  1. We aim to supply a wide selection of products created for people who suffer from food allergies and intolerances. Gluten free products are marked by the letter ‘G’ in our catalogue, which uses a classification system to highlight products that are fair trade, gluten free, organic, include no added sugar and are vegan. We also compile a list of gluten free products available for download from our website here. Please note, We don’t actually pack or process anything ourselves. As far as we know nobody absolutely guarantees that gluten-free products have not been in contact with grains at some point between harvest and final packing (either our suppliers or anyone else’s) but risk of this is likely to be minimal. The companies that pack the few gluten-free items with Suma’s name on are well aware of the importance of avoiding cross-contamination, but they are packed in the same factory as products containing gluten.

Recycling our Packaging

  1. As well as doing an amazing job delivering your orders, our drivers also work hard to take back as much of our packaging as possible. They’ve been doing it for years, and it’s a service we love to offer as we accept it is our responsibility, and we aim to reuse and recycle as much of our packaging as we can.

    We are happy to accept back all Ecoleaf and ALTER/NATIVE 20l drums and 5l bottles, plus Suma prepack and standard cardboard boxes*. We’d prefer the drums and bottles without holes in and with the lids on so they don’t become a slip hazard to our drivers. Once back at Suma HQ, we reuse whatever boxes we can when packing our next orders, and recycle our plastic with a company who turns it into other products.

    We are unable to take away any other recycling, and we kindly ask you to take this into consideration. It’s also down to driver discretion – if, for example, you try and return recycling from other brands mixed in with ours they will not be able to take it away, or if they have no capacity at the time of collecting.

    To sum it up, here’s what our drivers can and cannot take back:

    Yes

    Suma prepack and standard cardboard boxes

    Ecoleaf by Suma 20l and 5l plastic

    ALTER/NATIVE by Suma 20l and 5l plastic

    Pallet shrink wrap

    No

    Other branded cardboard waste

    Other branded plastic drums and bottles

    Any other general waste

    *please note – if you do not have a Suma driver we are unfortunately unable to offer this service to you. Please seek recycling advice from your local council.