In March 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed Suma’s completed questionnaire for information about its approach to GMOs. The questionnaire stated 'Suma does not stock foods that would need to be labelled as containing genetically modified organisms under current legislation. Our policy is not to purchase or stock any raw materials, packaging or finished product that contains / may contain any GMO materials or that may have been contaminated with any materials of this nature'.
The company's website was also searched. Suma's 'Buying Statement' stated in the buying guide section that, "We will only consider GM free products." In March 2019 it also also sent a GM policy to Ethical Consumer, which stated the following:
"To ensure the highest standards in the area of IP soya and GMO free products we are working together with Saatbau Linz (a seeding company) and Crop Control (specializes in controlling and certifying).
Main points of the GMO monitoring and soybean contract system:
• Contracts with farmers are only done with approved varieties of beans and on approved fields.
• Varieties of soybeans are only approved after the analysis of the seeds
• New varieties have to be grown in Austria for at least 3 years before the approval.
• Random sampling is conducted during the growing period. 50% of all farms are controlled during the year (seeds, fertilizers, production notes, risk evaluation etc.)
• Inspection of the warehouses/silos, separate storage, input-output control
• We take samples of every delivery to the warehouses/silos. These samples are kept until the GMO analysis and until the silos are cleared for deliveries to our factory.
• Average samples of the stored soybeans are taken and are analysed according to the specified qualities. After that the silo gets its clearance. Every raw material lot is tested on GMOs.
• On delivery to our factory a receiving inspection is done (including a cleaning certificate of the delivery trucks)
• We do an additional GMO analysis of the raw material stored in our factory.
Once a month we take a random sample of different finished products for another GMO analysis.
All GMO test are done by one of the following accredited laboratories: b.i.s. analytics Linz Austria GmbH and IKB Berlin."
Its completed Ethical Consumer questionnaire stated "We will only consider GM free products" in response to a question about the use of GM animal feed. The company was entirely vegetarian with a large proportion of its products also being vegan. Its website listed eggs and milk but these were certified organic. The company was therefore considered to be adequately addresing the issue of GMOs in animal feed.
Suma was considered to have a positive policy regarding the use of GMOs.
www.suma.coop/ (18 April 2019)