“Bios Coop” Social Consumer Cooperative

“Bios Coop” Social Consumer Cooperative
Author(s) George Malliopoulos
Insert photo or any visual image or diagram e.g. /Word or Image Collage © Bios Coop (http://www.bioscoop.gr/)
Choose a primary theme that the Good Practice adheres to Mutual benefits between primary producers and consumers
If relevant choose a secondary theme that the Good Practice adheres to
If relevant choose a tertiary theme that the Good Practice adheres to
EIP Practice Abstract Format:
Short summary for practitioners in English on the (final or expected) outcomes (1000-1500 characters, word count – no spaces).This summary should be as interesting as possible for farmers/end-users, using a direct and easy understandable language and pointing out entrepreneurial elements which are particularly relevant for practitioners. Research oriented aspects which do not help the understanding of the practice itself should be avoided.
Short description of the ‘Good Practice’: Bios Coop is a social cooperative of local consumers and producers based in Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia, Greece. The cooperative was founded in 2011 and currently has 450 registered members. The cooperative is managed using a democratic model of governance and respects the principles of Social Solidarity Economy, a movement that emerged in Greece during the last decade, responding to the deepening economic crisis in the country. Anyone can become a member of the cooperative as long as they pay a small membership fee and declare their commitment to the values of the cooperative. All members are also able to participate in the decision-making process in weekly open councils, as well as to contribute to the goals and values of the cooperative by voluntary participation in the committees of the cooperative.
The cooperative operates a retail shop near the city centre of Thessaloniki for the last 6 years, which sells local produce from farmers, who follow the principles of ecological agriculture, at affordable prices to local consumers and cooperative members. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the cooperative started deliveries of products to customers. The Bios Coop store employs 8 people, members of the cooperative, full-time. Other members support actively workers on a voluntary basis. In the near future, the cooperative will launch an online store and expand its delivery service.
Main results/outcomes of the activity (expected or final): The vision of Bios Coop is to create value-added for all social groups involved in the local agri-food sector. The cooperative sells food supplied by local producers, involving no intermediaries whenever possible and under fair terms. That way farmers earn more, as they do not need to split their profits with wholesalers and retailers. Products sold in the store are tasty, healthy and environmentally healthy, as they are produced by local farmers using ecological agriculture principles. Consumers buy these products in affordable prices and cooperative members benefit from further discounts. The cooperative supports further the society by spending a part of its surplus for activities that create value for the local society as well as the employees of the Bios Coop store.
The main practical recommendation(s): what would be the main added value/benefit or opportunities to the end-user if the generated knowledge were implemented? How can the practitioner make use of the results? Bios Coop highlights the opportunity to use Short Food Supply Chains a basis for the development of a sustainable business model that creates benefits for all people participating in the chain, while employing environmentally friendly practices and practiing social responsibility towards cooperative members and external societal groups.
Further information/Reference: http://www.bioscoop.gr/ https://www.bioscoopeshop.gr/
Short summary for practitioners in native language on the (final or expected) outcomes (1000-1500 characters, word count – no spaces).
This summary should be as interesting as possible for farmers/end-users, using a direct and easy understandable language and pointing out entrepreneurial elements which are particularly relevant for practitioners. Research oriented aspects which do not help the understanding of the practice itself should be avoided.
Short description of the ‘Good Practice’: Το Bios Coop είναι ένας κοινωνικός καταναλωτικός συνεταιρισμός στη Θεσσαλονίκη. Ο συνεταρισμός ιδρύθηκε το 2011 και πλέον έχει 450 εγγεγραμμένα μέλη. Καθένας μπορεί να γίνει μέλος του συνεταιρισμού αρκεί να πληρώσει ένα μικρό ποσό ως συνεταιριστική μερίδα και να αποδεχτεί τις αρχές του συνεταιρισμού. Ο συνεταιρισμός διοικείται με τη χρήση ενός δημοκρατικού μοντέλου διακυβέρνησης, σεβόμενος τις αρχές της Κοινωνικής Αλληλέγγυας Οικονομίας. Όλα τα μέλη του συνεταιρισμού μπορούν να λάβουν μέρος στις διαδικασίες λήψης αποφάσεων. Ο συνεταιρισμός λειτουργεί ένα εμπορικό κατάστημα κοντά στο κέντρο της Θεσσαλονίκης τα τελευταία 6 χρόνια, όπου πωλούνται προϊόντα τοπικών παραγωγών, που ακολουθούν πρακτικές οικολογικής γεωργίας. Όλα τα προϊόντα πωλούνται σε προσιτές τιμές σε καταναλωτές όσο και σε μέλη του συνεταιρισμού. Το κατάστημα του Bios Coop ως εργαζόμενους μέλη του συνεταιρισμού που υποστηρίζονται από τα υπόλοιπα μέλη με εθελοντική εργασία. Λόγω της πανδημίας COVID-19, ο συνεταιρισμός ξεκίνησε να προσφέρει υπηρεσιία διανομής ενώ στο άμεσο μέλλον θα έχει ολοκληρωθεί το ηλεκτρονικό κατάστημα του Bios Coop.
Main results/outcomes of the activity (expected or final): Το όραμα του Bios Coop είναι να δημιουργήσει αξία για όλες τις κοινωνικές ομάδες που εμπλέκονται στον αγροδιατροφικό τομέα. Ο συνεταιρισμός εμπορεύεται τρόφιμα τοπικών παραγωγών, χωρίς την εμπλοκή μεσαζόντων και με δίκαιους όρους συναλλαγής. Με αυτό τον τρόπο οι αγρότες κερδίζουν περισσότερο καθώς δεν χρειάζεται να μοιραστούν μέρος τους κέρδους με μεσάζοντες. Τα τρόφιμα που πωλούνται είναι γευστικά, υγιεινά και παράγονται με περιβαλλοντικά φιλικό τρόπο. Οι καταναλωτές και τα μέλη του συνεταιρισμού μπορούν να αγοράσουν τα προϊόντα σε προσιτές τιμές. Ο συνεταιρισμός υποστηρίζει επιπλέον κοινωνικές ομάδες της περιοχής διαθέτοντας μέρος των πλεονασμάτων για δράσεις που δίνουν αξία στην τοπική κοινωνία και τους εργαζόμενους τους συνεταιριστικού καταστήματος.
The main practical recommendation(s): what would be the main added value/benefit or opportunities to the end-user if the generated knowledge were implemented? How can the practitioner make use of the results? Το Bios Coop αναδεικνύει τις βραχείες εφοδιαστικές αλυσίδες ως της βάση για την δημιουργία ενός επιχειρηματικού μοντέλου που δημιουργεί οφέλη για όλους όσους συμμετέχουν στην εφοδιαστική αλυσίδα, παράλληλα ενισχύοντας πρακτικές προστασίας του περιβάλλοντος και εφαρμόζοντας τις αρχές της κοινωνικής υπυευθυνότητας απέναντι στα μέλη όσο και σε άλλες κοινωνικές ομάδες.
Further information/Reference: http://www.bioscoop.gr/ https://www.bioscoopeshop.gr/
Pearls, Puzzles, Proposals? Pearls: Good-quality agri-food products, democratic governance, social and environmental reponsibility.
Puzzles:
None.
Proposals:
Users should be able to read more information about the products and agricultural methods used by local farmers.
What needs did the ‘good practice’ respond to? Bios Coop covers the needs of consumers who need to buy high quality food on affordable prices from producers and retailers whom they trust and are honest. Local producers benefit from good terms of exchange with the cooperative, that also serves as an outlet for selling their products.
Methodology Used: Website information and interview
Sector All Sectors
Actors/Stakeholders involved Local producers and farmers; Local consumers; Greek food coop; Cooperative members;
Is the good practice supported by an IT application? If yes please describe and collect the TRL The online shop of Bios Coop will support sales and delivery of products to customers
Optional: What supports were provided by public sector bodies/policy instruments? The cooperative has been set up and developed relying mostly on their own capital and no public support or funding has been received.
Region, Country Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia, Greece
Media attachment (e.g. video link) or other attachment describing/depicting the Good Pratice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-5csjonHzM
Key words fruits; vegetables; herbs; online-shop; automatic delivery; subscription-based sales; digital platform; local food
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020
research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101000788

 

 

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