Suma Wholefoods co-op makes Fair Tax commitment

Suma Wholefoods, the vegetarian foods and natural products wholesaler, has been certified as a Fair Tax Mark business.

Suma is the largest equal pay worker co-op in Europe and has been operating from its base in Elland, West Yorkshire, for over 40 years. The co-op delivers over 7,000 products ranging from award winning biodegradable toothbrushes to vegan chocolate truffles and organic nuts and pulses, to businesses and communities across the UK and internationally.

Over 200 staff run Suma; who are workers and co-owners receiving equal pay and having an equal say in the running of the business.

Emma Robinson, Compliance Coordinator at Suma, said: “We are delighted to have received the Fair Tax Mark certification. Equality and sustainability are at the heart of what we do, and having a fair and transparent approach to tax is key to being a responsible business. The Fair Tax Mark allows us to demonstrate that we have been independently assessed and found to have an exemplar approach to tax.

“Too often tax is presented as a burden for businesses, but we’re proud to pay the tax we owe. We think it’s right that we contribute to the public services we rely on to operate, like road and rail infrastructure, but also the institutions we depend on as members of the community, from the NHS, to our schools, libraries and the police.”

Suma Wholefoods, January 19

It is estimated that £400bn of global corporate profits are shifted annually to tax havens, with corporate tax revenue losses in the UK of approximately £7bn per annum. The Fair Tax Mark certification scheme was launched in February 2014 to allow businesses that are paying tax in a responsible way to demonstrate this commitment to their customers, suppliers, investors and employees.

Paul Monaghan, Chief Executive, Fair Tax Mark, said: “We are pleased to announce the Fair Tax Mark certification for Suma, one of the most well-known and fastest growing co-operatives serving customers across the UK and internationally.

“As part of the accreditation process, Suma has published a new tax policy that commits them to shun tax avoidance and to avoid the use of artificial tax havens. Suma already publish their full accounts and are committed to enhancing their tax reporting in the future. Their current tax charge is very much in line with the expected rate, averaging at 21% over the last four years.

“Suma joins a growing hub of Fair Tax Mark businesses that are headquartered in West Yorkshire, including FTSE-listed Marshalls Plc. (who are also based in Elland), Leeds Building Society, Winder Power and the Ecology Building Society. It’s clear that these organisations not only share geography but also a commitment to responsible business.

“Sadly the public is growing used to headlines about big corporates shifting profits and minimising the contributions they make to the public purse. It’s refreshing to see organisations that are proud to say what they pay.”