(Published - 2 June 2020)
The power of supermarkets in South Africa’s food system means the value from high consumer prices does not benefit farmers or farmworkers. Neither food producers nor consumers benefit from this system. This is not unique as the same trend characterises most markets across Europe. Recalibrating the system would require system-wide governance reforms. It would also have to support small-scale producers’ access to input and output markets.
While widely discussed, little attention is being paid to alternative consumer cooperatives. The world’s largest and longest lasting cooperatives are, in fact, consumer cooperatives. These co-ops established from Italy to New York work to tackle the injustice of the corporate food system. This webinar will unpack experiences of consumer cooperatives. It will also explore the rise of mutual aid societies and food relief initiatives during the Covid-19 crisis, and what opportunities they offer to shift the power balance in SA’s food system.
In this webinar we’ll discuss:
- International consumer cooperatives’ experiences and their economic potential in South Africa.
- Different food consumer cooperative models and their benefits and challenges.
- Can the rise of mutual aid societies on the rise in the time of Covid-19 form the seeds for consumer societies?
The speakers for this webinar are:
Leticia Deawuo, Director, Black Creek Community Farm
Dorah Marema, Director, Gender CC and Gauteng Food Working Group, People’s Coalition, Johannesburg
Konrad Hauptfleisch, Head of capacity development at the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)