Another Amsterdam food coop is transforming the food system

Amsterdam has a long list of initiatives trying to change the way we look at the food on our daily plates. From global to local, from refined to organice, and from for-profit to non-profit are among the changes that these initiatives work hard to bring about. A new cooperative enters the Amsterdam scene: FoodCoopOsdorp.

Many people feel it: we need to change the way we relate to, produce and distribute our food. The current capitalist system of outsourced production, hyper-intensived agriculture, and monculture, is failing, dragging the planet, its biodiversity and its climate, along in its downfall. As most governments are standing by and watching, many people like those united in FoodCoopOsdorp, are working together to build a different system and setting micro-level examples of how such a future could look like.

For some time, Stadsboerderij (urban farm) Osdorp has been the green oasis in the heart of ‘Osdorp’, the south western tip of Amsterdam. A collaboratively – and voluntarily – run ‘urban farm’ including a plot of parkland, Stadsboerderij Osdorp has over the past few years grown into a vibrant initiative, reviving a sense of community in one of Amsterdam’s classic working class neighbourhoods. From workshops on gardening techniques and ecology knowledge, to family farm afternoons and wednesday’s dinner, the urban farm suits many tastes and interests.

The food coop

Stadsboerderij Osdorp is a meeting place for engaged neighbours, nature lovers, urban gardeners and cooks. Not surprisingly, the next project off its shelve is starting a food coop: FoodcoopOsdorp. Our own director Sophie Bloemen is one of the early birds being one of the coop’s first members. The coop offers substantial advantages over, say, super markets: by cutting wholesalers, retailers and other middle men, organic food becomes affordable; members get to know their neighbours and become part of a local social network; and members and the coop can mutually benefit from active involvement in the coop and the proper use of talents and skills.

Like other food coops in Amsterdam such as Vokomokum and Food Coop Noord, a minimum number of hours of effort is required by each member in order to keep the coop running. Each member puts in four hours of labor at least, handling deliveries, preparing pickup days or sorting out new memberships. FoodCoop yet has to organize its first pickup day, which it plans to do each Wednesday afternoon.

We’re happy to see another food coop appear on the scene. Good luck, FoodCoopOsdorp!