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This map shows (in green) Flanders(Belgium).
The red dots mark places where local initiatives are working called "voedselteams" (foodteams).
In practice there are many more than the red dots suggest.
It is about local grown vegetables and fruits, mostly, producers are members of a controled bio-label .

  • 10 to 15 households form a 'team'.
  • The commitement is to pick up weekly a 'basket' of vegetables and fruits by a local farmer.(red dots)
  • There is a fix price for a 'basket' to pay once a month.
  • The farmer or producer composes a 'basket' with what is available (local and from the season), if necessary other producers can provide: there is a very efficient distribution system for bio-products in place.

This system has several advantages:
  • You know what you eat, where it comes from, and the people who provide it. No middleman.
  • It is a (ahum, ok...not always) weekly surprise what is in your 'basket'.
  • The producer, knowing he has clients, can calculate in advance a lot of things: what an how much to plant, sow, order by fellow-producers (through a distribution-cooperative)......

Well, this is the short story. But a lot more has to do with it, as I found out visiting friends and family.
  • The kids love it to see where their food is coming from: in the pick-up places they can see where and how things grow and...
  • At first, hearing the price it seems very expensive, but after a few weeks you realise it's even cheap compared to your usual stores.
  • In practice I see that one person collects the 'baskets' and distributes them among 3 to 6 other households; it's a garanteed weekly social contact. Sometimes this task is for everyone on turn, when the team has 12 households you have to do it only every 3 months.


The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Mon Dec 18th, 2006 at 07:52:47 PM EST
Great info, ElcoB, thanks.  Do they have info re: How to set up; how it works' etc...?  Might be useful for setting up similar systems elsewhere.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Dec 18th, 2006 at 08:01:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the initiative in Flanders started some years ago with people and organisations linked to Oxfam(fair trade), ecological movement and third world actions.
I searched around but I couln't find simular initiatives in other country's.
In Flanders there is a central organisation who promotes the idea with succes: they have a website only in Flemish: VOEDSELTEAMS.Weet wat je eet. (Foodteams, know what you eat.)

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Mon Dec 18th, 2006 at 08:26:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How many households are supplied currently by this admirable network?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Dec 19th, 2006 at 06:24:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hard to get figures, since this is about local initiatives.
But at some point there where 150 known 'foodteams' with around 10 households each. Sure this is far from a mass-movement but it demonstrates the possibility of sustainable local (bio/organic)farming and 'alternative' distribution.

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Tue Dec 19th, 2006 at 08:58:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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