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Slow Movement News

Turkish fast food: Real food fast

The definition of ‘fast food’ according to the Wikipedia is food cooked in build and in advance, kept warm or re-heated to order....

Slow Fish a great success

Slow Food in collaboration with the region of Liguria, has just finished celebr4ating the event Slow Fish 2007. It was a great success with 42,000 visitors, a much higher number than expected. ...

National Sea Change Task Force urges more flood studies

ABC Wed Jul 11 07 The Mayor of Maroochy Shire on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, Joe Natoli, says it could be another 12 months before the CSIRO is able to undertake a flood modelling study in the Sunshine Coast region because the research body is under-funded. ...

Treechangers change country culture

An influx of treechangers into a rural community can keep population levels steady but it can change the needs and expectations within the community. ...

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Consumer groups and cooperatives - Consumers making the conneciton

In large urban areas, consumers often have little choice other than to initiate the connection to food production and food themselves.  Often the people to initiate the formation of these groups are people who have made changes in other areas of their lives in line with the slow movement. 

Consumer groups and cooperatives are very worthwhile.  Most organic food is more expensive than non-organic, many families think they can’t afford it, but consumer groups and cooperatives and other forms of buying clubs can bring the prices down.  This results in a wider adoption of organic food.

Farm fresh
Farm fresh

What is a consumer group or cooperative?

A consumer group or cooperative is simply a group of consumers who band together to buy produce and bulk foods at wholesale prices.  They are able to get wholesale price because of the volume of goods purchased.  That is, consumer groups and cooperatives have buying power that is passed on to individual members of the group.

There are three basic ways consumer groups and cooperatives operate.  The first is where the group becomes a member of a cooperative wharehouse and then purchases produce and products.  The second way is for the group to work in conjunction with a retail distributor in the first instance to make bulk orders from a distributor. Once this relationship is set up, the group then buys directly from the distributor.

The third way consumer groups and cooperatives operate is for the group to liaise directly with producers and processors to buy produce and products at wholesale prices. 

Although the benefits of consumer groups and cooperatives are obvious, there are some disadvantages as well.  The management and running of the group or cooperative requires a high degree of management, there are often legal matters to be considered, the group may need formal organization with rules and regulations, and there may be staff/personnel issues to consider.