Suma Wholefoods, distributor of over 7,000 vegetarian and eco-friendly products, has joined FWD as a full wholesaler member.
As a 100% vegetarian wholesaler driven by its ethical policy, the co-operative has strict requirements from suppliers around ingredients, sourcing and the environmental impact of their product range. Their turnover of £50 million in 2016 includes £12 million in own brand products.
Set up 40 years ago as a worker co-operative, Suma has no chief executive or managing director, with decisions made at regular general meetings and implemented by an elected management committee. Employees are all paid the same wage and all enjoy an equal voice and an equal stake in the success of the business. The 166 members of the co-operative are encouraged to perform more than one role within the business, to broaden their skills base and create a flexible and adaptable workforce.
James Bielby, chief executive of FWD, said: “Suma is the largest indepndent wholefood wholesaler in the UK and we’re delighted to welcome them to the FWD family. With the growing demand for free-from, gluten-free and vegan produce, and greater awareness of the ethical and environmental impacts of our supply chains, we see Suma’s experience as a valuable addition to our industry collaboration.”
Gary Scott, Suma’s FWD representative added: “As a new member of the FWD we are enthusiastic about joining such a diverse group of wholesalers. We are looking forward to valuable collaborations and adding another voice to FWD’s already powerful lobbying campaigns, and we’re keen to share market intelligence and insights with other members of the network”.