Transition Stroud

This is a shared history blog. Together we can write the history of our process of transition as it happens.

Monday, 29 June 2009

New Food Hub



The new Food Hub for Stroud had it's first meeting. Here is the information about the hub.




Stroudco Food Hub



A social enterprise for local food producers and community

Principles


  • Provide locally-produced food to people in Stroud

  • Provide a reasonable return for work to producer members

  • Build supportive and understanding links between producers and consumers

  • Develop food culture and community strength

Structure

The food Hub has producer members who commit to


  • Supply food for sale at lower than retail prices

  • Provide a service to the community members such as farm open day, camping, host a bring and share meal, etc

  • Provide a service to other producer members such as shared deliveries, loan of equipment, loan of labour, etc. Offers to have a roughly equivalent financial value.

  • Give 8% of what they sell through the Hub to the Hub for running costs , the most significant of which is the workers’ wage.

The Hub has 200 consumer members who



  • Pay membership of £24 per year

  • Build up to buying an average of £25 of food per month through the Hub within 2 years.

  • Contribute at least 2 hours of voluntary work per year such as farm labour, administration, packing food.

Benefits
Producers do minimal marketing. They get up-front ordering and payment, higher than wholesale prices and a single delivery point. Producers control their own market without supermarket contracts.

Consumer members have relationships with producers, community activity, access to farm life, no need to pay ‘middlemen’ so affordable food at slightly less than retail prices, short supply chain so fresh food.

The enterprise is a not for profit social enterprise, controlled by community and producer members. It is registered as a Community Interest Company. Anyone can join as a community member. Producers can join by permission of existing members. The board comprises of consumer and producer members.

Activities

A worker is employed by the Hub to organise running systems, maintain a catalogue of products available from producers, manage finances, encourage co-operation and organise events. The worker is answerable to the board and paid a wage with a bonus.

Members will order food in advance through a Hub website.
Producer members will deliver produce to a central point.

There will be monthly events for members such as a presentation from a producer, on farm events, joint processing days, etc

The Hub owns items for loan to members such as a juicer, sausage maker, roasting spit, juice press, etc

Distribution and delivery space

Food drops will happen initially once a month. Eventually we hope to build up to a weekly drop. The co-op will have access to the hall at Parliament School. All produce is delivered by the producers to this venue.

The worker will then sort the food into boxes according to what each consumer has ordered. The consumer members take it in turns to help with the food sort. The co-op worker pre-prepares paperwork to make the sorting job as simple as possible.

Consumer members collect from the school hall on Saturday afternoon. Consumers are encouraged to collect for other consumers local to them.

Consumers can choose to pay a delivery charge and have the co-op worker deliver the food to their home.

Set up

A grant funded worker will set up the enterprise, so that it can be handed over to a part time employee as a viable not-for-profit business after 3 years



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