Ethical- Beyond Organic

additionSuperOrganic from world, London   text by Mika Whitehurst

In an advanced nation of ethical buying, with a market valued at £38 billion in 2015, UK consumers are making more of the ethical choices they want. One such example is Unicorn Grocery in Manchester (annual turnover £7 million), which carried off the prize for Best Food Retailer in the recent BBC Food and Farming awards. Unicorn Grocery offers a huge range of affordable, wholesome food with a focus on organic, fair-trade and local sourcing since they opened in 1996.

Ethical principles remain at the core of the business and influence not only what is sold but also how business is done. As a workers’ co-operative, the shop is owned and managed by the 70 members who take responsibility equally for the decisions that govern their business from long-term strategy, through to budgets and recruitment. Business decisions are made through consensus, which, while it may not always seem like the easiest or quickest method, keeps their principles intact.

One particular contrast with cooperatives in Japan is that the members are not the customers but the people who work there and have a deeper understanding of their ethos. The average customer, by the way, spends around £20-25 per visit. Unicorn’s ethos runs through the shop when you visit. In addition to offering organic products, with full traceability, they further select those that are free from labor exploitation, free from animal cruelty, and are kind to the earth, giving customers a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction as global citizens. You can feel the next generation of consumption has started to move on from self-centered motives to compassion and consideration to all things.


エシカル – オーガニックの先にあるもの




Writer:  Mika Whitehurst. Born and raised in Tokyo. Having worked in an American investment bank, now runs her own business, writing and translating on topics ranging from Japanese animation to finance. Lives in the U.K. with her husband, son and two hunting dogs.

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