The Benalla Food Cooperative is going from strength to strength and now has more than 80 members.
The cooperative is an action group of the Benalla Sustainable Future Group and has been operating for seven years.
The cooperative stocks about 115 products of which many are sourced from local suppliers.
They mostly accesses Australian produce and have a large range of organic and fair-trade products.
The food cooperative aims to encourage the responsible use of the Earth’s resources and achieves this in a variety of ways, such as reducing the need for food packaging and reducing food miles.
It offers a wide range of non-perishable products, such as dried fruits, nuts, flour, rice, sugar, legumes, honey, olive oil, tea and coffee.
Members enjoy being able to purchase superior-quality products, knowing where the product comes from with the ability to purchase in any quantity.
Christine Holmes has been involved with the cooperative since it opened and said it had surpassed her expectations.
‘‘We started with four people and we got up and running with only 25 products,’’ Ms Holmes said.
‘‘One of the amazing, wonderful things that has happened is that a lot of young people and young families use the co-op.
‘‘I think people these days are interested in a quality product and knowing where it comes from.’’
The Benalla Food Cooperative is open three days a month for purchases and membership entitles customers to one year’s use of the cooperative.
Members are encouraged to bring their own containers for purchases.
Overall, the entire business is a happy, efficient and satisfying service based on the principles of purchasing in bulk to reduce packaging, reducing food miles, stocking quality products and supporting Australian producers where possible.
●For information on when the cooperative is open, check the Ensign’s Community Voice page.
●If you are interested and would like more information, phone Rhona on 57682542 or email [email protected]