The Sussex Community Co-op, also known as ‘SCOOP’, is now in its third week of operation. The stall is found every Tuesday near the fruit and vegetable market in Falmer House quad.
Their current stock consists of organic dry foods of which anyone can purchase as much as they require, though customers are requested to bring their own container and to fill it with the amount that they need. All products are as low-priced as possible as SCOOP is a non-profit organisation.
Joseph Dorrell, a volunteer at SCOOP, said: “Our aim is to try and increase the economic power of students; if we get together and buy things in mass bulk we have a lot more power than as individual consumers shopping at various superstores.”
In front of the SCOOP stall is a blackboard which asks what else the customers would like to be able to purchase from the booth.
Their aim is to provide students on campus with lots of varieties of organic food; therefore any suggestions will be appreciated.
Joseph added: “We want it to become a one-stop shop for whole foods like rice, beans, lentils, cereals and tea; all the things that are bulky and can be stored. We hope that purchasing from our stall will mean people don’t have to travel in to town.”
SCOOP is a growing initiative that so far, is looking very promising. Since its first day of operation, all 25kg bags have now been sold and the stall now offers around a dozen varieties of products.
Biz Bliss, University of Sussex Students’ Union Operations Officer, said: “Scoop is just one of many students’ union food cooperatives starting up recently.
“Across the UK students are empowering themselves by taking food consumption into their own hands. At Sussex we study subjects like International Relations and Anthropology that are critical of the current practices surrounding food production, initiatives like Scoop are a practical step moving us away from our dependence on supermarkets and towards greater autonomy in sourcing the foods that we eat.”
The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Students’ Union have a very successful Food Co-Op and Common Ground Community Garden.
The Radio 4 Food Programme featured the SOAS initiative last week.
Second year student Ginny Seppings was positive about SCOOP and felt the scheme was beneficial to the environment, saying: “It’s great having somewhere to buy locally produced and fresh ingredients, especially so close to the main fruit and veg market.
“Bringing your own packaging is an awesome idea as well, because you save money and it’s better for the environment.”
On Wednesday 10 November, SCOOP will provide free flapjacks on the coaches going to London from campus for the NUS/UCU demo.
SCOOP is currently looking for new recruits to join the group – those interested should go to the stall on a Tuesday and enquire about how to help.