A Local Fresh Food Co-Op In Evesham?

by Admin on September 2, 2012

Is there a case for opening a locally owned, operated, low cost, fresh food shop
in Evesham? – “A LO-CO-OP”

Context

The Vale of Evesham produces some of the finest quality fresh food in the
country but it is hard to find in most of the food

retail outlets in the town.
So many of us get in our cars and visit the many excellent farm shops which
surround the town-so it’s not a problem? Yet there are many people who
cannot access these outlets because they do not own a car or are elderly and
less mobile. So what’s the answer? Why not bring the richness and diversity
of the food available in the Vale into the town by setting up a new shop which
sells affordable high quality local fresh produce?

How would it work?

This shop would be an altogether different experience from those currently
found in the town. Firstly, it would be created and operated by local
volunteers-a shop for the community owned by the community.

It would draw on the fresh local produce available in the Vale on a seasonal
basis. For example, it would offer local asparagus in the asparagus season and
plums in the plum season. But it would also offer jams, fruit juices, cakes and
cheeses, and locally sourced meat products-pies and sausages- throughout the
year.

It would promote local growers and suppliers and help them sell more of their
produce. It would cut out the “middle man” and hence be cheaper than similar
products sold elsewhere.

It would sell fresh and hence healthier food than that transported from other
areas in the UK and from overseas and hence serve to improve the health and
well –being of the local community.

One of its main aims will be to boost the consumption of local fruit and
vegetables by people on low incomes.

Opening times of the shop will be determined by the support we get-but we
hope to engage with the 90 or so local farm shops and suppliers in the Vale to
join the cooperative and hence offer a comprehensive range of products as
often as possible. Overheads will be kept to a minimum by using empty shops
in the high street and manning the shop with volunteers.

Next Steps

We would need to gain support for this idea from a range of key stakeholders
including many of the

other local producers. We would
also need an input and support from Evesham Market Town Partnership and
Wychavon DC. Other agencies like Slow Food Worcestershire would also be
helpful in promoting the idea.

As a first step some basic market research would be helpful in making the

case to the principal stakeholders and especially to the local farm shops and
suppliers.

Some helpful ideas and tools for establishing a local coop can be found
on:www.foodcoop.org . See also Thornton –in Hull Fresh Food Coop set up in
2011.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Robin Walker September 11, 2012 at 3:29 pm

This is a fantastic idea – we need to re-energise the town centre, and what better way to do this than showcasing the wonderful produce grown in the Vale.

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