Manchester's largest organic wholefoods store, Unicorn Grocery, has just been named Best Local Food Retailer at Radio 4's prestigious annual Food and Farming Awards. Out of thousands of nominations, the worker co-operative came out on top.
Sheila Dillon, who presented the awards, said that, in the current climate, they wanted to choose a business that was making a real impact on their communities, offering sustainable alternatives and a model for the future. She commented that Unicorn provides 'some of the UK's freshest and cheapest produce'.
Unicorn manages to offer food at such a competitive price because of how they trade; buying direct, buying as local as possible, buying in bulk and having a 40 strong team of hard working motivated individuals who take a living wage and nothing more.
Pricing has always been important to Unicorn, not simply so it can compete like for like with the multiples, but because Unicorn was set up to provide decent food at affordable prices - everybody should be able to afford to eat well.
As Unicorn worker Rob Alderson explained: 'This award gives people the chance to see there are living, breathing viable alternatives to the multiples. The key thing is to start changing mainstream grocery retail. We show that it's possible to be both responsible and competitive and there's no reason why all supermarkets can't be like this. After 12 years of trade at Unicorn this award means a lot. It will mean a whole lot more if, after the next 12 years, we're working in a much more responsible and sustainable grocery industry.'
Find out more about Unicorn Grocery by visiting their website.