THE BEECHWORTH FOOD CO-OP SHOP IS CLOSED.
Our future co-op - May 2022
We’ve done a lot of strategic planning over the last couple of years so the purpose of our planning session in February was to revisit that work and find the elements we could move forward with. Although we no longer have a retail space the Board agreed that the vision ‘Connecting our community through food’ still held particularly with a renewed focus on education, advocacy and information. This focus is one of the seven key principals of a co-operative and aligns with our goal of ‘Nurturing community through shared food, activities and events’.
To achieve our goal, we have planned a series of events throughout this year which began with Patch to Patch in early April, continues with our upcoming winter veggie gardening event, and will be followed by more exciting events later in the year. We aim to broaden our supporter base connecting more local people to local food, which allows us to support local growers and showcase their product whilst bring the community together to celebrate local food.
We’ve been asked whether we will reopen a retail space or offer online retail. After much discussion we have decided that the produce need is now being filled by retail spaces in nearby towns and by the success of the Open Food Network and Open Road project. We have always had the opportunity to purchase bulk food at Border Just Foods in Albury and are now able to also purchase organic/biodynamic produce at Wangaratta Wholefoods and bulk/organic food at The Love Earth Store in Wangaratta. The Open Food Network now has a depot in Beechworth enabling fresh produce boxes to be delivered weekly through online ordering. This is a very different environment to when the Co-op first opened its doors some 7-8 years ago.
Now we are emerging from the isolation of Covid lockdowns our events will allow people to reconnect, and open more pathways to engage with local producers and develop an understanding of food systems. As eaters we make choices about how our food is grown, whether it comes from commercial monocultures or enterprises investing in soil regeneration and biodiversity. At the Co-op we want to improve your access to knowledge about these choices and their impacts on the earth; we also want to bring people together to share in the joy good food brings.
We hope to see you at our events, and encourage you to bring a friend who might be new to town or the idea of local food…
Yours in Fair Food,
President, Beechworth Food Co-op