Supplier Spotlight

Suma Co-operative

Friday, July 27, 2012

 Suma is an IPS, a workers’ cooperative collectively owned and managed by its workers. Since first becoming established in the 1970s, the cooperative has founded its operations on a commitment to ethical trading and environmentally sound practice.

As the cooperative and its business have grown, so has the demand for resources and energy but Suma has never lost sight of its original principles.

Their aim for their brand range is that:

Suma Brand Products should:
1. Have spotless ethical credentials
2. Be healthy and wholesome
3. Be competitive on price with the whole grocery market
4. Be vegetarian
5. Be ethical alternatives to mainstream market products

Packaging for Suma Brand Products should where possible:
1. Be minimal
2. Be recycled, biodegradable or recyclable
3. Be familiar to UK consumers
4. Be robust and applicable to the product

 A recent repackaging exercise led to developments that could fundamentally change recycling in flexible food packaging. “We discovered, through one of our commercial partners, that the same technology that can recycle plastic bottles into more plastic bottles could conceivably be applied to flexible food packaging2 like bags of fruit or nuts” says Andrew Mackintosh Suma’s PR manager “not only is the carbon footprint of the process lower than any other packaging medium, but it also means that the packaging itself is 100% recyclable”.

Britain creates over 3 million tonnes of plastic waste each year with an estimated 56% of all plastics waste being used packaging, three-quarters of which is from households. It is estimated that only 7% of total plastic waste is currently being recycled.

From April 2010 the full range of Sumas packaged dried fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, pulses and snacks are in this recycled and fully recyclable packaging, representing over 250 product lines.

“Our customers trust us to make ethical decisions on their behalf” said Mackintosh “and we are confident that this form of packaging has the potential to make a great deal of difference environmentally”