During the first six years 8th Day was run as a co-operative but was in fact legally a partnership. In 1976 On the Eighth Day Co-operative Limited registered as a workers’ co-operative under the Provident Societies Act.

What is a Worker Co-op?

A worker co-op is a co-operative owned and democratically managed by its workers. Most of the full time workers at 8th Day are members of the co-operative who work in either the shop or café AND manage the business. There is no top-down management system and we all earn the same; all members are expected to self-manage, and manage each other – often difficult, but worth it! The trade off: a sense of ownership of the business; playing a part in making decisions that affect you (the worker); empowering members to drive the business forward. Although we are relatively multi-skilled, in recent years – in order to remain competitive – we have placed more emphasis on members’ specific skills: our treasurer (who is a genius), now does little else other than co-ordinate the co-op’s finances; we have a member trained to degree level in nutrition, and this is her main job; the chefs in the café tend not to participate in other activities…the essence is that all roles are regarded as of equal importance, and remunerated as such.

Our Mission Statement

‘8th Day Co-operative exists to encourage the optimum health of its customers and staff by providing quality vegetarian food and advice, whilst maintaining a caring, sustainable, democratic and ethical business environment for its workers.’ 

Our Buying Policy

To source goods at the best possible quality and price within acceptable ethical parameters.

  • Everything is vegetarian and GM free
  • Eggs for sale and served in the café must be organic and free range
  • Body care products must not be tested on animals or contain ingredients which have been tested on animals. They must not contain SLS, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrance and colours, TEA and DEA or parabens
  • Food items must be free of unacceptable additives e.g. artificial sweeteners, colours and preservatives
  • Products should be sourced as locally as practicable to limit food miles. Fruit and vegetables must originate from the UK whenever possible. Seasonality is reflected in the dishes on offer in the cafe
  • Products should be sourced with minimal environmental impact in terms of production, transportation and packaging
  • Preference is given to Fairtrade, organic and co-operative production – it is our aim to continually increase our range of Fairtrade and organic products
  • We aim to increase trade with independent producers and manufacturers, with preference given to other workers’ co-operatives and social enterprises, wherever possible. We won’t hesitate to delist popular items if they have links with aggressive multi-nationals e.g. Innocent drinks and Coco-Cola, Green & Blacks Chocolate and Cadbury’s (now Kraft)
  • Our aim is to de-list items manufactured by companies related to multinationals, where there is a viable alternative. We aim to avoid buying from countries with poor human rights records. We support boycotts from time to time e.g. Nestle

For more information on GM foods please visit www.stopgm.org.uk

Ethics & Environment

We try to tread as lightly as we can and purchase goods and services in the most fair and sustainable way possible.

  • We recycle all our cardboard, paper, tin cans, plastic bottles and glass via Emerge Recycling, a social enterprise based in Manchester
  • The Co-op’s cooked and uncooked food waste is composted by Emerge Recycling.
  • We do not supply or sell plastic carrier bags. We offer organic cotton bags sourced from Suma Wholefoods a fellow workers Co-operative to encourage re-use
  • We sell Ecover and Faith in Nature refills
  • We use Freecycle when we need to dispose of unwanted items
  • We buy our electricity from Ecotricity, “the provider who spends more of your energy bill on building new sources of green energy”
  • Telephones and internet services are purchased from the Phone Co-op, a workers’ co-operative based in Oxfordshire. It is the UK’s only telecoms co-operative, and 2008’s Best Social Enterprise
  • The shop buys the majority of its food from three co-ops: Suma in Yorkshire; Infinity Foods in Brighton; The Healthstore in Nottingham
  • Our banking provider is the Co-operative Bank


At 8th Day, we support Fairtrade because we believe that it helps farmers, growers and producers in developing countries to get a fair deal instead of maintaining a system that is based on inequality and dependency. In a wider sense Fairtrade does in fact reflect our core beliefs: fair and honest trading with all of our suppliers and customers, whether they’re on the other side of the world or around the corner.

What is Fairtrade? The Fairtrade Foundation is the independent non-profit organisation that licenses use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products in the UK in accordance with internationally agreed Fairtrade standards. The Foundation was established in 1992. The number of ethical labels is growing, but Fairtrade remains unique. While other schemes aim to protect the environment or enable companies to trace their coffee, Fairtrade ís focus is on helping farmers and workers improve the quality of their lives and take more control over their futures. Fairtrade is the only certification scheme whose purpose is to tackle poverty and empower producers in developing countries. Fairtrade delivers unique benefits to producers, businesses and consumers. Our mission: to connect disadvantaged producers and consumers, promote fairer trading conditions and empower producers to combat poverty, strengthen their position in world markets and take more control over their lives.

The shop currently stocks over two hundred Fairtrade lines; a lot more than just coffee and chocolate e.g. rubber gloves, beans, jam, peanut butter, tahini, dates, mango, pineapple, bananas, soap, biscuits, herbal teas, black teas, rum, dessert wine, honey, cashews, almonds, olive oil and the list goes on. We wholeheartedly support Fairtrade Fortnight each year, offering special dishes in the café, raffles and tastings in the shop and by holding Fairtrade themed events. The café serves Fairtrade coffee, tea and hot chocolate.