Michael Soth of West Oxford Food Coop explains more about the co-operative making organic food available, accessible and affordable in Botley
Are you interested in buying organic food at two thirds of the recommended retail price?
Do you avoid unnecessary packaging?
Are you interested in sustainability?
Would you want to join a community group that organises wholesale delivery of more than 5,000 products? We have been organising a small neighbourhood buyers’ group for more than 20 years, buying organic products from wholesaler Infinity Foods in Brighton, whose team deliver to Oxford once a week. For many years we had been collating a collective order every few months.
Since October 2016 we have been inviting more members, to expand the group, generate bigger orders, get even better discounts and maybe establish a local cooperative community enterprise. This would help to concentrate on expanding these orders to a wider group of households to make it worthwhile increasing the frequency of deliveries to weekly, renting local storage space, so we can set up a refill station that would help us avoid packaging and make organic food available and accessible in Botley.
We intend to partner with SESI Food and Household Refills who have been operating in east Oxford for more than 10 years. In the future, we might look into cooperating with other projects to extend the range into fresh produce.
We have now expanded to include about 26 households and have had 10 deliveries since then. One of our members has calculated that he has saved 40% as compared to shopping at wholefood shops. Currently we are aiming at a delivery about every six weeks.
The big news for 2018 is that we have just transitioned to online ordering – Infinity has set up an incredibly fast and efficient online system. Each member can have their own log-in and complete their own sub-order as part of the overall Food Coop order. This makes our project fairly hassle-free and keeps the admin to a minimum.
To get an idea of the range of products available (most items you would expect to find in a wholefood shop, i.e. more than 5,000 lines), visit www.infinityfoods.coop
If you are interested in joining such a community enterprise, please contact us to receive a membership form.