Suma Wholefoods Co-operative

Posted on 27/07/2020 by Centre for Governance and Scrutiny.

The client and background 

Suma is a workers’ co-op, a business owned and run by the nearly 200 people who work there. It is the largest equal pay worker co-op in Europe. Suma recently introduced a new Member Council to their governance structure with the role of scrutinising the Board and representing membership issues.

What we did and the impact 

CfGS was asked to provide training and development for members of the Member Council to support them in their scrutiny and representation role. It was agreed that Board members would also receive support to appreciate how the scrutiny function works and how best they work collaboratively with it.

To inform the development of the training, CfGS carried out interviews with the Member Council and Board members. The outcome of this was a proposal to run separate workshops with the board and member council, and a final joint workshop to create a joint action plan.

CfGS was able to design a bespoke approach to support Suma which reflected its co-operative values and the progress already made in embedding the Member Council. The outcome was a practical action plan encompassing including strategic, operational and cultural changes. 


If you would like CfGS to support your organisation to help drive improvement in the way you do business please get in touch by emailing or call 020 7543 5627.

About the Author:

CfGS is a national centre of expertise on governance and scrutiny. We provide consultancy and training to organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors. We’re a charity with a unique focus on the principles of accountability, transparency and involvement.

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