Our Ruby Anniversary!
This year Essential Trading will be celebrating supplying the best in vegetarian wholefoods, organic, Fairtrade and ecological health-care & household products for forty years.

Essential Trading is a Bristol-based wholesale company. Our principal area of business is with retail customers. We are very committed to our continued support for independent local businesses. However, as a co-operative we are also concerned with promoting community and social enterprise. Our co-operative roots and beliefs have forged our identity within the whole-food industry for (very nearly) four decades. Within this time our business has grown in many directions – one of which is the supply of Food Buying Groups.

We are pleased to offer our customers an ever-expanding range of over 6000 products from sustainable charcoal to dairy-free chocolate, from Fairtrade rice to sprouting mixes – and the sprouting trays to boot! Our own brand contains no modifiers, artificial colours or flavours, guaranteed free from GMOs – and we minimise (or eliminate) sugar and salt wherever possible. All of our range is vegetarian and we offer vegan and other ‘free from’ alternatives wherever possible. Our catalogue and on-line pricelist clearly flag such products for these more specialised diets. To browse our product list or to find out more about us please visit our website: www.essential-trading.coop

In brief the requirements of a Buying Group are:

  • Four households or more in the group.
  • Payment on delivery by cheque or prior to delivery by credit/debit card.
  • Single delivery address suitable for a large HGV to deliver.
  • Must always be open to new members in your area.
  • £250 minimum order required for delivery (or cash & carry at our Warehouse).

We will only supply goods to Buying Groups if they meet, and adhere to the guidelines within Essential Trading’s Terms of Trade.

Please be aware that Buying Groups will not be created if located in the vicinity of any businesses that we supply. It is at Essential Trading Co-operative’s discretion whether any new Buying Group accounts will be activated. Every co-operative Buying Group application will be dealt with on their individual merits. Because we strive to support independent retailers, we may suggest that you contact them first. It’s always worth asking your local retailer what they can offer you on bulk-buying. Failing that, we may then put you in touch with any existing Buying Groups in your area.

Common Questions
Q What is a Consumer/Food Buying Group?
A A group of individuals, pooling time, money and resources to buy food in bulk.
Q Why set up a Food Buying Group?
A Bearing in mind that we don’t just sell food, we have over 6000 products all at wholesale prices, an order from us, topped up with a veg box, could eliminate the use of any supermarket.

Buying Groups bring together like-minded people, strengthening the community, whether in a rural village or inner city estate. Buying Groups can help to reduce car miles (e.g. fewer car trips to the supermarket) and offer an alternative to rural communities who often don’t have access to a good local food shop. As a co-operative you can set up a bank account in the name of the co-operative, taking away the financial burden from the individual.

To get started, click on ‘create an account’ and then ‘download application form’ it takes you to the pdf.
Essential Trade Agreement.

Or call us on 0845 458 0201 for a paper copy and an Essential catalogue.

Hotline to new business advisor: 0117 9430 812, newbiz@essential-trading.coop

Please contact us at any time if you have any questions about your account.

If you would like any further information please call our New Business desk on 0117 9430812, or the Sales Team on 0117 9430800.

Essential Trading Cooperative.

This article first appeared in Bristol’s local food update, May-June 2011.