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Essential Trading

Essential Trading are one of the largest worker co-ops in the UK and have been successfully trading since 1971. There are many parallels that can be drawn between Essential Trading and our own working practices and principles here at Unicorn.

Essential deals with the wholesale, manufacturing and distribution of vegetarian products worldwide, specialising in ethically produced, organic, Fairtrade and ‘free from’ food sourced from around the world, always freighted by land or sea never by air. 

They have a purpose-built factory for packing their own commodities such as rice and nuts and are interested in provenance and sustainability. Essential also have their own-branded line with roughly 900 products containing no artificial colours, flavours or modifiers. All their ingredients are traceable and wholesome. They are passionate about nutrition and taste with an emphasis on pure, healthy and ethically assured fairly-traded products that people can trust.

Their mission is to excel as a sustainable business, providing ethically sourced vegetarian products as a pioneering Worker Co-operative.

The Essential warehouse is fitted with solar PV which will generate an estimated 38000 kWh of electricity per annum, saving approximately 513 tonnes of CO2 over the 25 year life of the FIT (feed in tariff).

We love trading with Essential because their trading objectives are defined by their core ethical beliefs;

  • Opposition to the exploitation of animals
  • Promotion of healthy eating
  • Concern for protecting the environment
  • Commitment to human rights as a trading issue
  • Dedication to the co-operative principles

  •  Essential Trading Staff



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    Recommended Products


    Araku Valley Coffee - Smooth, delicious, organic and Fairtrade coffee, grown within a model which helps to secure livelihoods, restore degraded land and support local Adivasi communities.

    Sonett - A wide range of truly effective and eco-friendly cleaning products. All ingredients are biodegradable and non-allergenic, and many plant sources are organically grown.

    Glebelands City Growers - Based in Sale, our most local grower and a fellow workers’ co-operative provides us with beautiful organic fresh vegetables, salad leaves and seedlings. Their new site in Stockport will enable them to increase supply all year round.  

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