A CO-OPERATIVE in Elland has been buoyed by a contract to supply Greenpeace’s flagship Rainbow Warrior II.
Suma, based at Lowfields Business Park, will provide a wide range of wholefood products for the ship, which has hit the headlines on numerous occasions when the environmental group has taken its protests to the high seas.
Suma spokesman Paul Collins said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen to supply a considerable range of our ethically-sourced products to Rainbow Warrior to re-stock her prior to another voyage.
“Greenpeace originally contacted us in early September requesting a catalogue and from there things moved very quickly with them sending in their order via one of our downloadable order forms.”
Said Paul: “We are on a very tight schedule with Greenpeace as their time in port is limited.
“We will be making our delivery at Canary Wharf on the Thames on October 20 and at that time meeting up with the captain, Mike Fincken.
“He has agreed to be interviewed for a feature in our next catalogue which should make for very interesting reading.
“Rainbow Warrior’s cook will also be talking with us and no doubt seeking the best ways to prepare all the foodstuff we are delivering and discussing some of our menus.
“We’re really looking forward to the event and hoping to learn a little more about what Greenpeace has planned for the following months and their recent achievements.”
Rainbow Warrior II is on its way to UK waters from Greece and will undertake a two week tour as part of a Greenpeace protest against about burning coal.
Said a Greenpeace spokesman: “For the past few months, Rainbow Warrior has been telling governments around the world to quit coal and join the clean energy revolution.
“The ship is on her way to Poland for crucial climate talks in December and is coming to the UK to tell Prime Minister Gordon Brown to Give Coal the Boot and embrace an energy revolution based on efficiency, renewables and combined heat and power instead.”
Paul said the food order from Greenpeace had been unexpected, but believed Suma’s own environmental credentials must have impressed the organisation.
“As well as offering a vast range of excellent products, Suma believes in conducting its business affairs in an environmentally sound and ethical way,” he said.
“From the way we heat and light our premises, to the structure of our workforce and the wages paid to our aduki bean growers in Brazil, ethical trading is a recurring theme in every aspect of the Suma brand.
“I’m sure this will have struck a chord with the Greenpeace team as there is clearly a great deal of synergy in the way we both operate.
“Our hope is that this represents the start of a long and successful business arrangement between Suma and Greenpeace.”
Suma was formed in 1975 in Leeds before moving to a purpose-built factory in Elland.
It employs 150 members of staff and its catalogue lists 188 pages of food and drinks, including wines, chocolate, cakes, sauces and non-food items, including candles, shampoos and household cleaning products.
Staff undertake a variety of “green” activities, including tree planting to offset Suma’s carbon emissions and river clean-ups on the Calder. They have also formed links with human rights campaign group Amnesty.