Matkooperativ - affärsmodeller och drivkrafter
Sammanfattning: Globalization and industrialized agriculture characterize today’s food production. To support a more sustainable food system, many people choose to join a food cooperative. A food cooperative is owned and operated by its members and the objective is usually to make organic and locally produced food, at a favorable price, available to its members. Food co-ops can be structured in different ways regarding business models, membership requirements and work requirements. This study aims to analyze the benefits and drawbacks of different business models of food co-ops, along with the underlying incentives among the members. Three food co-ops were analyzed by interviewing one person from each co-op. One of the co-ops operates a store which is open for the public, another one functions by an order form and a pickup location, whereas the third one offers a bag of vegetables which can be picked up at one of the local departments. The results of the study show that the main drawbacks of a food co-op operating a store is the rent of a business premise along with a high workload, while the benefits are visibility and accessibility. According to that, the main benefits of a food co-op with an order form and a pickup location are the low costs and a lower workload. Furthermore, the study has shown that an open co-op increases the accessibility of the food, whereas a member requirement often creates a higher feeling of community. Regarding the incentives among the members, the study has shown that a willingness to support a more sustainable food production along with the social aspects are important. However, it seems like people often join a food co-op because of the sustainability aspect but remain in the long term due to the community feeling of the food co-op.
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