Massey Fruit & Veg Co-Op
The Massey Fruit and Veg Co-op are making progress despite their very quiet public appearance. They meet with the District Health Board (DHB) last week on Friday to talk about starting a co-op here at Massey as the DHB are currently help Victoria with theirs. Due to the way semesters work at Uni and the capacity of DHB helping to start up a new co-op, it sounds like the co-op wouldn't be able to be rolled out in full until the start of 2018. The perks of not starting till next year would allow stringent planning and prep by the team, making sure hiccups are not devastating as they will need about 120 orders a week to be sustainable.
Despite this long wait period there is talk about partnering with Miramar's co-op and buying 40 orders from them each week for a select few Massey students and staff. This will help the team learn how a co-op runs without the risk. Their plans are to try open up the 40 orders to students and staff who would be happy to dedicate their time volunteering to pack bags at Miramar and at Massey, if Massey becomes a distribution hub next year.
A new survey will be sent out in the next coming weeks to the students and staff who have expressed their interest in the co-op. This will help determine further details about the running of the co-op such as: what percentage of people are keen to volunteer, how they want to pay for the bags (automatic payments or pay as they go), if they want degradable plastic bags or people will use their own, and if people want to pay a little extra on top of the $12 or have $20-30 fee at the start (with their first bags included) to help cover the co-op's operational cost and make it a sustainable service on campus.
About the project
Food co-ops are a great way to support communities and get affordable, fresh fruit and vegetable into peoples hands. Students are often living on tight budgets and the co-op gives them away to access easily an affordable food option. This initiative is also available to staff, as without the staff the co-op wouldn't be sustainable in the months where the number of students significantly decrease.