An extract on #wholefoods
There is some confusion over the usage of the term surrounding the inclusion of certain foods, in particular animal foods. The modern usage of the term whole foods diet is now widely synonymous with "whole foods plant based diet" with animal products, oil and salt no longer constituting whole foods.
The earliest use of the term in the post-industrial age appears to be in 1946 in The Farmer, a quarterly magazine published and edited from his farm by F. Newman Turner, a writer and pioneering organic farmer. The magazine sponsored the establishment of the Producer Consumer Whole Food Society Ltd, with Newman Turner as president and Derek Randal as vice-president. Whole food was defined as "mature produce of field, orchard, or garden without subtraction, addition, or alteration grown from seed without chemical dressing, in fertile soil manured solely with animal and vegetable wastes, and composts therefrom, and ground, raw rock and without chemical manures, sprays, or insecticides," having intent to connect suppliers and the growing public demand for such food. Such diets are rich in whole and unrefined foods, like whole grains, dark green and yellow/orange-fleshed vegetables and fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Its turnover for the year ending September 2015 was reported as 40 million, ranking it 49th among British co-operatives. Sales have doubled over the past decade.
Despite its trading volume, it is notable for being Britain's largest collectively organised co-operative, in that it avoids hierarchy and practices equal pay and job rotation despite having 160 employee owners.
Suma is a fully democratic workers cooperative. All cooperative members and employees receive the same net hourly rate of pay, no matter what their job or responsibilities. All members have input into the direction and policy of the Cooperative.
The Cooperatives policy and direction is decided by general meeting of the members. Coordinators are appointed to direct areas of the business within a flat management structure. An elected management committee of six members oversees the fulfillment of the democratically agreed business plan.
Suma has a 30-year history of working to be an equal opportunities employer. It encourages its members and employees to learn new skills, take on new responsibilities and make improvements in working practices. It appreciates the benefits of diversity in the workplace and strives to encourage it.
Since Suma was established it has only stocked vegetarian food, and has a zero tolerance policy to any goods containing animal products or derivatives. Over 30 years later it still sells exclusively vegetarian products and is committed to promoting vegetarianism as an ethical lifestyle choice. Its premises are a meat-free zone, and workers benefit from a vegetarian canteen. Not everyone who works at Suma is a vegetarian.