Affordable Ethical Shopping at Leeds University Union
With growing public awareness of ethical issues concerning the treatment of humans, animals and the environment, there is an increasing realisation of the influence we have as consumers on the rest of the world. By changing our shopping habits and buying from companies with sound ethical policies, we can start to make a difference globally. Healthfood and wholefood stores which stock more ethical produce are often quite expensive. Through co-operation we can have more control of what we eat as well as how much we pay for it.
The Green Action Food Co-op is an organisation within Leeds University Union run entirely by volunteers to provide cost price ethical food to its members. It costs only £2 to join for a year. The ‘[[Who is Green Action?]]’ page has our primary rules.
- All products are free from Genetically Modified Organisms.
- Many products are Organic and Fairly Traded.
- We cater for vegetarian and vegan diets.
- We are a strictly not-for-profit organisation.
- We source from sound suppliers, many of which are workers co-operatives.
- As a co-operative, we share the time and responsibility of running the co-op, but also benefit from working as a group, and share the control of how the co-op is run and what food is stocked.
We have some [[Co-op flyers]] to advertise the serivce to people. Please put them up around and about.
Mon– Fri: 10am – 6pm (sometimes 5pm, depending on when volunteers are free)
Sat and Sun: Closed
What is a co-op?
A co-operative (a co-op for short) is where a group of people collectively take control of an aspect of their lives for their mutual benefit – for example, housing, work and in this case food.
What is the Green Action Food Co-op?
The Green Action Food Co-op is a members’ co-op which means it is collectively run by our members, who each pay a nominal fee of £2 a year and can participate in all the aspects of day-to-day running. This doesn’t mean you have to volunteer your time or get involved in anything, but we would encourage you to do so as it’s enjoyable, productive and you get to meet new people! The Food Co-op is part of Green Action, a society based at LUU, but this does not necessarily mean that all volunteers take part in other Green Action activities or vice versa. See our constitution for more.
By buying in bulk and selling at cost-price (i.e. we don’t make a profit) we can pass everything on to our members at an affordable price.
What do we stock?
We stock lots of snacks like flapjacks, sesame snaps, chocolate, liquorice; a range of fair trade/organic teas and coffees; pasta, jars (of peanut butter, pesto etc), soya milk and rice milk, fruit juices, yoghurt, tofu, margarine and a wide range of other essentials.
We also have lots of jars full of loose grains, dried beans, dried fruit, nuts, lentils, oats, muesli and different flours which we can weigh out to the amount you want and put in a bag or a tub for you. This means we can all reduce our packaging and therefore the amount of waste we’re creating.
Non-food items we stock include toilet roll, Mooncups, recycled paper and bio-degradable bin liners as well as bio-degradable cleaner, washing-up liquid and washing powder which are all in bulk for you to bring along a container to fill up.
Have a look at our stock list for a better idea of what we have.
Fruit and Vegetable Boxes
We have weekly deliveries of fruit and vegetable boxes from Goosemoor (www.goosemoor.co.uk), a grower and distributor of organic foods based in Wetherby. Any member can order a fruit or vegetable box from Goosemoor through us. Vegetable boxes are available in multiples of £5 and fruit boxes in multiples of £3.
This is a great way to get good quality and healthy organic fruit and vegetables at an affordable price (as with the rest of our stock, we don’t charge a profit).
What else does the Co-op do?
At the Co-op you can browse Green Action’s alternative library full of books and pamphlets on politics and political struggles, ecology and the environment, development, human and animal rights, social issues and a wealth of other subjects.
We also have a notice-board and leaflet racks with Green Action related information as well as info about other campaigns and events. This is a good place to find out about other events, activities and campaigns going on in Leeds outside of the student community. We are associate members of Radical Routes which is a secondary co-op which aims to promote the formation of more radical co-ops in the UK.