Scotland’s premier wholesaler of fine food and drinks, Greencity Wholefood was set up as a worker co-operative in 1978. At the time, the Scottish Collective Wholefood Shops wanted a Scottish-based warehouse and distribution service to deliver the food they needed from a central Scottish point.
The co-op had only four initial members, but within a year the number of members increased to 12, with 200 customers and turnover exceeding £200,000.
Greencity is now delivering to over 30 different sectors, including independent stores, delicatessens, cafés, caterers, restaurants, schools, universities and community food initiatives.
In an attempt to cover the whole of Scotland, Greencity helped to set up Highland Wholefoods in 1989, a sister co-op based in Inverness. The two continue to work together with a strong emphasis on the sixth co-operative principle, co-operation between co-operatives.
“There is a great sense of camaraderie, trust and friendship. Co-operative values and principles are at the heart of our business. Without them, it would be another 9-5 job. Greencity can be a force for change,” said Scott Erwin, member-director at Greencity.
“We see ourselves as an ethical alternative to the paralysing practices of the multiples. We deliberately take smaller margins on goods that are fair trade or organic in order to make them available to as wide a market as possible.”