For about 2 years now, as a family we have been trying to get away from the “duopoly” of Australian supermarket chains. No need to mention the names of these 2 giants who are trying to take over the entire market and your life and squeezing the last life out of the little guys who are trying to make an honest living.
So, with this in mind I started our journey to freedom from these chains (pun intended). Along the way I have learned everything from how to make butter with fresh milk from the farmer, to how to make my own bread without using a prepackaged yeast, to making our own toothpaste.
Over the next few posts, I will help you in your journey to freedom from these chains.
The first thing you might want to consider is looking for, or organizing your own co-op. A co-op or cooperative is a group of people who work together to receive mutual benefits through a joint purchase of bulk goods. In this case I am talking about buying fruit and vegetables directly from the farmers or the market garden (e.g Flemington Markets in Sydney).
I am part of a co-op that organizes a box of fruit and veggies every fortnight for cost price. We can do this because it comes straight from the farmer or the market and the produce is bought in bulk. You, as a co-op are entitled to bulk or wholesale prices, which keeps more dollars in your wallet and fresher food in your tummy.
Our co-op also donates $5 of each box to build wells in Cambodia, which I love about our co-op, because it makes a large difference in someone else’s life and not a large profit in Mr. Coles’ pocket.
So, it’s easy to get started. Simply get some friends, family or neighbours together, find your local farmer or market and share the duties of picking up the produce each week or fortnight. You will see the difference in your grocery budget and eat seasonal food (instead of 12 month old apples from China).
Summary of all the benefits of joining a co-op
- It builds community
- You will eat fresh food in season
- Supports your local growers
- Reduces your carbon foot print
- Saves money
So, what are you waiting for?