Local, fresh and directly from the farmer!

By Potira Preiss, visiting PhD-candidate from Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul State who is doing a doctoral internship at the Rural Sociology Group

That is the slogan carried by De Groene Schuur, where 70 families of consumers cooperate to get good organic food. The initiative started on 2013 and has being growing since. Mobilized by the situation of local farmers struggling to sell their products in the conventional markets, De Groene Schuur offers a market with fair payment for farmer and a lower price for consumers. Few kilometers, little packaging, seasonal products and old fashioned varieties give a special taste to the food!
The products are ordered online and arrive every Wednesday at 8am at Gabrielle’s house, in the Centre of Zeist. From there a group of 8 consumers receive the products, unload the boxes and starts to separate each family order. This dynamic goes until around 12pm, when all consumers arrive to pick up their boxes. By taking turns to do the work for the distribution, consumers not only save money but get a chance to be with neighbors and built a community. The success of this initiative encouraged the creation of a new group, that now supplies families in the In Depth Garden area.
DSCN5956The products are all organic and biodynamic, harvest in the Flevoland province, 1 hour drive from Zeist. They came from BioRomeo, a farmers collective that besides producing their own vegetables and fruits, cooperate with other farmers in the area to offer a better variety for consumers. The strategy has allowed them to supply 15 similar initiatives, that they call ‘consumers cooperations’.

Author: Potira Preiss
She has a background in biology and is a PhD Candidate in Brazil at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul State (UFRGS) and is accomplishing an doctoral internship at Wageningen University under the joint cooperation project CAPES/NUFFIC. She researches topics such as: development, sustainability, agroecology, food network and consumption practices.