* Unicorn - Manchester's co-operative grocery   *
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At Unicorn, our ethical and social values are at the core of everything we do, from the food that we sell to the way that we run the business. We are driven by the following guidelines, which we call our Principles of Purpose:

Secure Employment

We aim to provide secure employment for our members. We seek above all to provide a livelihood for ourselves with some control over our working environment. We accept the responsibilities and rewards of this challenge.

Equal Opportunity

We believe that all should have an equal opportunity to undertake paid work. Ignorance and prejudice should not be an obstacle to this. The ability to carry out a minimum of 20 hours useful work per week entitles a worker to apply for membership. The respect and income derived from a job are important to many people in our society which is one which values paid work highly.

Wholesome Healthy Consumption

We aim to trade in wholesome foodstuffs and household goods of non-animal origin. We focus on foods which have undergone minimal processing. Specific product guidelines include the avoidance of animal derivatives, and where feasible, refined sugar and high levels of added salt. We strive to sell products of organic standard and maximum nutritional value whenever we can find or generate a market. Provision of educational materials help in this aim.

Fair and Sustainable Trade

We aim to trade in a manner which supports a sustainable world environment and economy. We trade preferentially in products which follow the “Fair Trade” ethos and we communicate with our customers about the problems with cash crop agriculture. We are concerned that much of world trade is to the disadvantage of poorer nations with a consequence for people’s health and lives. We operate a fund from which to support projects addressing and challenging this imbalance. 4% of our wage costs are contributed to this fund. We trade in products which produce minimum impact on the environment and we make decisions about our packaging with this also in mind.

Solidarity in Co-operation

We aim to support like minded ventures, co-operatives or otherwise. We acknowledge both competition and co-operation as fundamental to human nature. We seek to encourage co-operation by operating a fund to support projects which share our vision of community and society in the United Kingdom. 1% of our wage costs are contributed to this fund. We promote co-operative structures and spirit through all our trading, social and educational activities.

More About Our Ethics & Principles


As part of our principles we commit to contribute a sum equal to 5% of our wage bill to local and international projects. For more information see Project Support.

We've done a lot of research into the issue of palm oil, the production of which is causing widespread rainforest destruction. Find out about the palm oil in our products and the background to our palm position.


Unicorn Grocery is a workers co-operative which means we are owned and run by our workforce. Read more at What is a Co-operative?


Choosing packaging for food products is an environmental conundrum, there is no 'good' option. But we've done a lot of homework and the choices we've made, if not perfect, are certainly thought-through. Read more here.

Occupy our food supply teatowel

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