Food co-operatives seem to be popping up all over the place. As the world shifts it's thinking from a throw-away society and with the community’s demand for affordable and waste free organics increasing; community driven food co-operatives seem to be the direction in which we are moving. It's not just for lovers of dreadlocks, Birkenstocks and hemp threads anymore.
Food co-ops are comprised of a group of individuals from a community who buy organic and fair trade produce in bulk, at wholesale prices. They traditionally support local farmers and companies that grow and distribute food in an ethical and sustainable manner.
Most food co-ops are set-up and run primarily by members who contribute their time in exchange for discounts on products and produce. Some co-ops open themselves up to non-members to allow others in the community to sample the co-op way of life.
'That Red House' Organic Soapberries are in a handful of co-ops around Australia and we are expanding our reach through these networks. Already in a large number of bulk food stores around Australia, co-ops are a further extension of this.
Co-ops aims to…
- Provide organic, ethically produced wholefoods and household products
- Be community owned, operated and orientated
- Keep prices low while ensuring profits, keeping it viable and continuing to grow
- Be friendly, personal and relaxed
- Purchase local goods to support the Australian farming industry
- Be ‘waste free’ or ‘low waste’
- Encourage shoppers to bring their own food containers for their purchases and recycle wherever possible… re-using bottles, jars and shopping bags
- Contribute to healthy and happy living through a diverse range of natural products
How to shop at a food co-op…
If you’re considering giving the co-op shop a crack, here are a few things you might want to know:
- BYO containers to take your food away in – or you can buy some in store - not really in line with the low waste thing though!
- Make sure you weigh your container first before put the food into it - sorry to state the obvious, but don’t rip yourself off.
- Fill your container with food using tongs, scoops or spoons - using your hand, face or mouth is usually frowned upon!
- Make sure you clean up any mess you may create – unless you have your Mum shopping with you.
- Take your food to the cash register - don’t steal it, they’re community minded and know you want a bargain, but don't be an arse!