Exporter focus: Suma Wholefoods

Tue 22 Aug 2017
Posted by: William Barns-Graham

suma wholefoods team shot

As part of our build up to the Queen's Award Gala Dinner this September, we're talking to some of this year's international trade winners.

In this interview, we talk to organic, vegetarian and vegan food wholesaler, Suma Wholefoods.

What does your business do and where are you at the moment in terms of your exports?

Suma is an ethical and vegetarian wholefood wholesaler located near Halifax in West Yorkshire. From here the business serves both the UK and export markets with a range that extends to over 7000 lines of ambient, chilled and frozen goods. Export sales currently contribute 12% of the overall turnover of the business, and we have customers throughout Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.


Congratulations on winning a Queen’s Award! How did it feel to win one and how has winning one impacted your business?

We were really thrilled at the amazing growth of our international sales, and that we could make delicious, ethical vegetarian food available to a wider audience. By winning this award we were proud to prove that our local business can hold its own against the big players in international trade.


What was the main factor for you in taking up the IOE membership?

One of the main factors for signing up for membership was because of the potential networking opportunities for the business, plus lots of communication and advice.


What’s the next big thing for your business?

We are currently celebrating our 40th year as a wholesaler and a worker co-operative, and to make this special we have been undertaking lots of exciting initiatives, such as investing in the co-operative eco-factory in Italy that produces Suma’s organic pasta, and closer to home, creating a special birthday beer.

suma wholefoods 40th anniversary

You can sign up to the Queen's Award dinner for a fabulous celebration of the Queen's Award winners' achievements at the Royal Horseguards Hotel here

You can also apply for an award yourself in this year's International Trade Category - more info.