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Does it make sense to continue bringing food from the other side of the country or the planet?

Does it make sense to continue bringing food from the other side of the country or the planet?


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They are usually made up of friends, neighbors or acquaintances who agree to buy vegetables from a farmer and, once the order is received, the products and tasks are distributed. Vegetables, vegetables, fruits, sourdough bread, organic wines, organic meats, eggs, craft beers ... An infinity of food products are sold weekly by their producers and processors to consumers in different parts of the country.

Without intermediaries and betting on local products to avoid long journeys and their consequences, which are very harmful to the environment. The company The Beehive That Says Yes! proposes something similar, but more comfortable. The hive has a manifesto that guarantees that the products are respectful with the environment, do not have phytosanitary products or are slow food, among other guidelines.

Convenience comes at a price, of course. The producer takes 83% of the sales and the remaining 17% is shared equally by the administrator of the hive and the state platform, which in Spain has seven workers and is in charge of promoting and maintaining the website . Today we interview them in Muhimu to learn a little more about this initiative:

HOW DID THIS INITIATIVE ARISE?

In July 2014, The Beehive That Says Yes! He was taking his first steps in Spain. A new consumer initiative was born to facilitate direct sales between local producers and consumer communities, called Colmenas.

Each one of the Colmenas allows to carry out a personal and singular project, since anyone can create a Colmena or consumer community in their neighborhood; he or she is the Hive Manager. But at the same time it is inscribed within a collective logic that reinvents the consumption model and outlines the contours of a new social and human economy. The project has this double local versus global character.

The Beehive That Says Yes! It has the experience of France, the country where the idea for this model and the web platform was created, in 2011, and it is also part of a European movement that has more than 800 Beehives in France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Germany and the UK. It is therefore an interconnected and decentralized network, in which its operation is to share resources and experiences, with free access for all and adapting it autonomously to each country, and within it, to each region.

AFTER ALL THIS EXPERIENCE, HOW DO YOU SEE THE SITUATION OF PROXIMITY SHOPPING IN SPAIN?

In Spain, especially in the last 5 years, and thanks to the increased concern of many citizens around social and environmental issues, they seek to consume in a responsible and sustainable way. In reference to food, there is a growing interest in knowing the origin of food and eating in a healthier way, as well as proximity. So more and more people are looking for initiatives of local consumption and direct between consumers and producers.

But the pace of life, especially in big cities, is frenetic and time is short. Besides that it is very far from the field.

In this sense, the model proposed by La Colmena Que Dice Sí! has managed to adapt to these two variables: on the one hand, it is a very easy and accessible web platform to make purchases online, which also allows the flexibility to buy when you want and the desired quantity, but at the same time preserves the essentials of human contact and direct between the city and the countryside, since once a week the physical meeting between producers and consumers takes place. Thus, the true meaning of the project is established during the distribution day, in which with the format of an ephemeral market, the producers deliver the orders to their consumers and get to know each other.

HOW MANY HIVES ARE THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY?

The first Beehives were created in Barcelona and Madrid, and in a few months more were opened in different neighborhoods of the two cities. In Spain there are currently 34 open beehives, 13 of them in Madrid and 8 in Barcelona (1 of them in Sant Cugat), and the others in Valencia (4), Granada, Seville, Valladolid, León, Palma de Mallorca and Bilbao.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OVER OTHER PURCHASE OPTIONS?

On the one hand, and unlike large distribution (supermarkets) because local consumption is encouraged. Apart from knowing the producer directly and having all the information about the product first-hand, local commerce also has many advantages for the environment.

Eliminate unnecessary transportation. This has a lower energy cost and the associated pollution is greatly reduced.

In addition, packaging and waste are also reduced.

And they fight against food waste. On the one hand, the online pre-sale system allows the producer to know in advance what he has sold and only delivers the baskets already sold. And on the other hand, it is not wasted for aesthetic reasons of the product, as it does in large distribution.

On the other hand, because of the social philosophy that exists behind the project, which fosters a global and real impact of consumer change. The Beehive That Says Yes! allows the replicability of a social, sustainable and collaborative model. On the one hand, it creates direct sales channels to promote fair and local food. On the other hand, it supports sustainable small-scale production. It also energizes social ties in the neighborhoods. Finally, it revitalizes the local economy, because it supports the activity of local producers so that they can make a living from their activity, and also provides management and communication tools so that any social entrepreneur can create their own micro-entrepreneurship project.

Anyone can open and create a Beehive in their neighborhood or town, dedicating a few hours a week to it. This entrepreneur is what we call the Head of Hive and in exchange for his management, communication and revitalization tasks in the neighborhood, he obtains a supplementary income of 8.35% of sales, since he is invigorating the community to the producer, who is the one who pays this service cost.

The process to create a Beehive begins when a person signs up on the website and fills in the form explaining their motivations.

Second, you have to find a local in the neighborhood who will give up space for two hours a week to make distributions. They are usually restaurants, coworking, schools, etc. Next, find the local producers with whom you want to collaborate. And finally, it makes communication in the neighborhood so that the neighbors sign up to the website of its Colmena.

When the community is large enough, its activity can begin. And it consists in that every week it organizes an online sale where consumers can buy the quality food offered by the producers.

Once the sale has finished, the Manager organizes what we call an ephemeral market in the neighborhood space, in a place where the producers deliver the orders to the consumers.

And to carry out all this, you have all the management and communication tools at your fingertips, free of charge, in addition to having the support and permanent training of the team of coordinators of La Colmena Que Dice Sí!

Now in Spain there are already 34 Beehive Managers who have embarked on the adventure of creating their own community of local consumers and producers in different regions of Spain. This video illustrates it very well:

WHAT WOULD WE MISS TO UNDERSTAND THAT ANOTHER WAY OF EATING IS BETTER FOR YOUR ORGANISM BUT ALSO FOR THE COMMUNITY IN WHICH YOU LIVE?

Access to quality information. There is a lack of awareness on the subject, and that it is normalized as normal, and not as something exclusive or expensive. Having direct contact with the producer allows you to empathize with him, understand the nutritional value of the products and what impact the way of producing has on the environment. A producer telling you his knowledge and experience is the best impact to convince you that a change in consumption is necessary, both on a nutritional and social level.

In addition, consumers have to understand that the cost of things is relative if the nutritional value is taken into account. If we think that the price of 1 kg of organic apples at € 2 is expensive, it can be approached in another way: with € 2 you can give your daughter up to 6 nutritious snacks, instead of buying her a bakery product at the same price that she gives you only for 1 or two snacks and it will not be so beneficial for her.

Because the difference in price is also health. Buying conventional rice we save € 1, but we stop benefiting from 50% more of the nutrients that organic rice does have. The same goes for meat. You do not have to stop eating (except if you bet on being vegetarian, of course), but you can consume less but that it is of higher quality, with which the final nutrients that benefit our body will be many more, and the Final price that you have spent to buy 4 times in the hormonal super chicken and with antibiotics or 1 time organic chicken will be the same. That is why the myth that quality products are expensive must be dismantled.

ANY FUNNY ANECDOTE THAT HAS HAPPENED YOU IN THIS TIME?

Well, I would highlight two. Perhaps they are not anecdotes, but curiosities. One is that the Colmenas end up becoming true neighborhood communities where friendship and collaboration relationships are created, and even contacts are made at the work level. This is one of the aspects that Hive Managers value the most; having created this weekly meeting point where things are shared.

The second refers to producers. Many of them are neo-rural, meaning that instead of coming to the cities to find work, they decide to do the opposite process and become farmers. One of the producers made a very good living as a programmer across the Atlantic and after a trip to India he decided to make a total change and start an organic farming project. He changed computers, for chard and leeks. Another was a music producer, and another was a social educator, and they had the courage to start over and change their course.

Another story is the case of a mother of 2 small babies. He started in the world of bakery as a hobby, as a passion that he tried to combine with his day to day. Now he has gone one step further and is professionally dedicated to this. And many times she tells that she waits for her two children to fall asleep to be able to start her “work day” and make bread.

When you see that someone has left everything behind to start a project from scratch and give such a strong change to their life, it is when you realize that it is the passion for what they do that moves them, and, although the days many times be tough, I couldn't live any other way. He lives to make life better for us, and so we can eat amazing food. Each of the stories that hides behind each producer are stories full of passion, risk and betting on what you believe.

WHERE OR HOW WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR PROJECT TO GROW?

We hope to continue moving forward and get more social entrepreneurs to join the adventure and that soon the Colmenas network will assure any consumer who has a Beehive near their home.

The challenge is that more and more people understand that this system is easy and accessible and that it becomes a real and widespread consumer option. That The Beehive That Says Yes! enter the everyday vocabulary of people and it is common to hear: "I go to the Beehive to buy", as someone who now says "I go to the supermarket."

At the moment, a clear evolution has been noted in the number of consumers who have joined the initiative: a year ago, in June 2015, there were 5,657 registered consumers, and currently there are more than 16,000 in Spain and 250 producers.

Muhimu


Video: What If We Built a Wall Between People and Wildlife (July 2022).


Comments:

  1. Efrain

    It is no more than conditionality

  2. Dary

    I mean, you allow the mistake. I can defend my position. Write to me in PM, we will handle it.

  3. Nibar

    It is a pity that I cannot speak now - I have to leave. But I will return - I will definitely write what I think on this issue.



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