Hi Food Shift Community!
This is my first post and I am currently working on my masters where I started exploring food citizenship, local food ecosystems, and how design can help transition to a more resilient food system. During my research I talked with creative communities in Sweden’s alternative food networks including solidarity buying groups, food coops, and urban farmers. I totally acknowledge that I have an incomplete picture of the current state of affairs in Sweden but it got me on the right path.
I have been asking the question: How might we create tools/space/experiences that facilitate collective action to support a local food economy/ecosystem?
I am working with a vertical farming startup in Umeå as well as with the local REKO-ring to explore how to answer the question I posed above. I am currently developing a concept that centers around Growing Communities Food Zone framework for how cities can feed themselves.
The concept I have been exploring is a coop that has a community supported urban farm that facilitates an alternative route to market for other local farms while providing the infrastructure for food cooperatives to have the space to process bulk orders. Essentially an urban farm coop for members to participate in growing (or have a say in what is grown), enable small food coops, and temporary drop-off/pick-up point for local producers. Not a full blown coop store or a solidarity buying group, but somewhere in between the two. Could there be a digital platform that facilitates this?
I envision a way for communities to be a part of growing their own food while also having access to other local producers and bulk quantities to staple goods. The savings made on buying staple goods in bulk could offset the higher prices of the other local produce. The core idea being to encourage and explore collective action within the local food ecosystem.
Does the community here have any knowledge of similar projects or past projects that can be of help in this exploration? Any and all feedback is extremely welcome!