Green Action Minutes 24-11-11

 Green Action minutes 24/11/11 


Present: Sinead, Sarah, Giulia, Pia, Maia, Tim, Shadin, Rosie, Gauthier, Rita


1 – Food co-op meeting next week

Giulia has created a Doodle.  Everyone to log availability by Sun 27th.


2 – Website

Sinead & Rosie looking at website’s usability.  Everyone to play around with the site to find issues.

Nikolai has website knowledge but it would be good if other people could pick this up.


3 – Newsletter

Suggestion to produce a regular newsletter (fortnightly/monthly/termly?) as an update on GA, to be distributed online/at co-op/surreptitiously inside veg boxes.

Could include updates, events, recipes, ways of using unusual ingredients eg rye/oat groats.

Tim to put together a draft for first edition, to be ready for distribution in Week 11.  Content can be submitted to Tim.


4 – Membership cards

Maia has ordered a stamp and cut out cards – should be ready to start using early next week.  Maia to display membership info in Co-op and inform shifts how to use the cards.  Everyone to spread the word.


5 – Co-op stock

Maia has bulk ordered wall charts (nutrition, seasonal veg etc) on offer – will be in the Co-op priced £1.38


Tim has done an audit of current stock & country of origin, to be displayed with distance in miles.  Tim also produced a paragraph description of the Co-op to be displayed alongside.  Some concern that there is too much text on display – deferred to Co-op meeting next week.


6 – UCU Strike

Some discussion on supporting public sector strikes on 30th November, with a proposal to close the co-op for the day in solidarity.  Concern about taking this decision on behalf of lots who aren’t here.  Agreed that the Wednesday shifts wouldn’t open up, with a notice displayed outside, but notice to make clear this was a decision taken by those shifts rather than a co-op decision as a whole; with no attempts made to stop others getting the key if they need stock.  Shadin to make a shutter sign; Sinead, Rosie and Maia to make sure all Weds shifters know.

7 – Bread workshop


Gauthier to run a bread workshop this term or next – will keep us informed.


8 – AOB


Tim clarified mailing list situation re events (don’t go round general list individually; can be inputed onto website and weekly email compiled containing all events) and announcements (currently do go round general list as not very frequent at the moment)

Rita reported back from allotment meeting – work days now Fridays, new people keeping things going, more keys being cut.

Pedallers Arms: Learn about Wheels

Pedallers Arms is having a wheel reparing day.  Come one, come all this Sunday 27th of November to our workshop on Mabgate Green for a special session to help us fix wheels that have been donated. If you can service a hub and true a wheel, great. If you can’t yet they we will happily help you but it would be easiest if you came around 1pm so we only have to do the basics once. Then afterwards by using the stand, some patience, and luck we can get the wheels in our wheel rack to stop looking so broken.

We will be in the workshop from 12:30 – 5pm ish, feel free to pop down for a bit of the session. This session is for fixing wheels that have been donated to the Pedallers Arms and isn’t a regular drop-in. Regular drop-in sessions are on every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 4-8pm.

Green Movies: Garbage Warrior

Come and watch the inspiring film Garbage Warrior starring Earthship architecht Mike Reynolds on his quest to create the most eco-friendly housing on the planet. Followed by delicious food from ThatOld Chestnut. (Buffet: £4.50)Should be a great sociable evening, would be great to see you there!

The film will start at 19.00 so please get there 10 minutes before this. There are only 70 places so book early to avoid disappointment! If you RSVP and subsequently can’t make it, please let us know so that we can reallocate the place or adjust the catering numbers. We look forward to seeing you there!

Please RSVP via this link:


MINUTES! Green Action Food Co-op: Review of Products, 21/11/2010

Date – 21/11/2010

Who present – Sarah, Alice, Neil, Giulia, Tim, Rita, Pia, Charlotte, Becky, Sam

Facilitator – none

Minute taker – Sarah

Aim of meeting – to discuss ethical and environmental issues surrounding the products we stock in the food co-op and decide on any appropriate changes to the way we choose what to stock

Summary of what was discussed:

  1.        Items to no longer stock
  2.        Communication with other food co-ops
  3.        Food miles
  4.        Hierarchy of criteria taken into account when ordering
  5.        Out of date stock
  6.        Toilet roll

RED: Changes/action point


1.       Decided to start by discussing specific products we no longer want to stock

·         Tinned items – issues of carbon intensive processing

                                                               i.      Ingredients: yes (e.g. tinned tomatoes, braised tofu)

                                                             ii.      Ready made products: no (e.g. baked beans)

·         Banana chips – can only guarantee to be vegan if bought in individual packets. Agreed to no longer stock item due to excessive packaging this creates but still available for personal ordering.

·         Mushroom paste – how to recycle packaging? Heavily processed item. Led to discussion of processed food; if we get rid of all processed items this could drive people to buy these products in other places e.g. supermarkets, going against our ethos of providing an alternative way of shopping. Also many of these processed items are speciality vegan items which are hard to find/expensive elsewhere. Decided to keep.

2.       Should we talk to other food co-ops to see how they’ve dealt with the issues we’re discussing for inspiration? No, need to decide these things ourselves.

3.       Moved onto issue of ‘food miles’ – environmental costs of transporting items across long distances.

·         Cannot limit to Europe, many products we stock come from further afield (example: Palestinian Oil – want to support this for political reasons).

·         Food hub asked if they look at where products come from. Response: generally yes but not all the time and other factors including packaging, price, Fairtrade, packaging and organic play a part in decision making.

·         ACTION: Start to write the food miles as well as the origins of each product on their labels to encourage people to think about food miles. These will be calculated in advance using GoogleMaps for each country and a reference sheet will be made for how far each country is from Leeds (approximately). This will be kept in the co-op for people to refer to when writing labels. Also Tim has volunteered to create an educational poster about the issue to display in the co-op (addressing the educational role of Green Action).

4.       Debate: Do we have a hierarchy of criteria for choosing products to stock?

·         Criteria: price, Fairtrade, organic, packaging, food miles

                                                               i.      Organic: in the past the rule has been if an organic item is 2.5x the price of a none-organic item, do not buy it. What about ‘luxury’ items such as dried cranberries? Decision: if luxury, do buy organic even if 2.5x more expensive. Reinforcement of the idea to try to stock as much organic produce as possible. ACTION: make sure that all the unprocessed food we buy is organic until end of the year and then review to see if we have had to eliminate any products through this criterion.

                                                             ii.      Rough hierarchy:

1.       Packaging (i.e. buy thinks in bulk where possible)

2.       Fairtrade/Organic (food hub to decide in the rare occasion a choice has to be made – nearly all items that are Fairtrade are also Organic, however many items that are Organic are not Fairtrade)

3.       Food Miles

4.       Price

                                                            iii.      Tim raised the point that our suppliers (Lembas) only buy from ethically-sound companies anyway so we need to trust them that all our products are in some way ethically sourced even if they do not fit all the above criteria.

                                                           iv.      The food hub is to do the best with the information they can find. If anything they are uncertain about comes up as an issue when ordering raise it at the next food co-op meeting.

5.       Out of date stock: 10% off for a month then afterwards up for donation. Write BB dates on labels.

6.       Toilet roll: stop buying in individual packets and start buying in bulk. Can store extra in the cage space Kay has found for us near The Common Room.