A story on BBC news over the Christmas period caught our eye and got us thinking…
This means members have to volunteer there if they want to shop there. Despite this being part of the original model for a co-operative, many US based co-ops don’t follow this any more. Members of Park Slope must carry out 2.75 hours of work every 4 weeks, jobs vary from working on check-out to unloading deliveries and working in the office upstairs. Members feel that the co-op has bucked the trend of ruling out member labour requirements because of the keen sense of community around the area. Whilst other food co-ops became bigger and profitable, meaning they could pay employees, Park Slope’s members continued to do a sterling job so the need for paid staff wasn’t there.
Here in the UK, Food Co-ops are growing and growing. Food Co-ops.org last counted 486 listed co-ops in the UK. We’ve listed just a few, but if you know of a great one, do leave a comment below.
–Unicorn Grocery is a food co-op in Manchester which has been going since 1996, it started with just 4 members and now has around 50.
–The People’s Supermarket in Bloomsbury, which was saved from closure after an online campaign in 2012. Members pay £25 annually and if they work for 4 hours a month, they get a 25% discount on all produce.
–Community Food Co-ops run around 300 co-ops around Wales.
–Glasgow University also runs a small food co-op where members can order online.