|Cllr Karen Allison, Julius Nicholson (Suma) and Cllr Andrew Cooper|
Suma has a huge warehouse full of foods with a strong emphasis on organic, fair trade, environmentally friendly and ethically sourced products. Suma's values make it a strong force for good business practice not just in environmental terms but in treatment of its employees. I've worked in the public sector, the rapacious cut throat private sector and even an employee owned company so it was refreshing to see a successful workers cooperative of many years standing doing so well. It is not the sort of company you would join if you were looking to buy a luxury yacht or a holiday cottage in the Cotswolds. What it does offer, it seems, is job satisfaction and relative job security in an increasingly insecure world. I got a buzz and feel for the place over the couple of hours I ŵas there and you definitely got the impression that it was a happy workforce as well as an obviously successful one. For me it showed that it is completely possible for a company to have strong ethical values, a democratic structure and 'cut the mustard' in the business world (wholegrain organic mustard of course!