Suma Wholefoods gets Fair Tax Mark accreditation

'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'

Worker co-op Suma Wholefoods has become the latest business to obtain the Fair Tax Mark.

Based in in Elland, West Yorkshire, Suma employs over 200 staff members who own and run the business based on an equal pay, equal say policy. Around 50 businesses have been awarded the Fair Tax Mark certification so far, including the Co-op Group, the Midcounties Co-operative, Revolver World, the East of England Co-operative, Scotmid Co-op, Co-operatives UK, the Co-operative Party, Unicorn Grocery, the 8th Day co-operative, Ethical Consumer, VME Retail and Energy 4 All.

The independent certification scheme was launched in February 2014 to recognise that demonstrate they are paying the right amount of corporation tax in the right place, at the right time.

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.

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.”

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.”

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