” Historical attempts at an enforced, collectivised approach to food production in various vernacular interpretations of Marxism have famously and tragically lead to famine. Conversely, however, it is within environments of abundance (such as Essential’s overflowing silos of raw cacao coated mulberries) that both the fields of history and ecology have witnessed the most promising examples of egalitarianism. It is our firm belief that cooperative consumption can lead to food sovereignty and greater shared prosperity by redirecting consumer spending into the cooperative business model at the expense of supermarkets who only serve to undermine the food system through exploitation, extraction and concentration of wealth into fewer hands.
This isn’t to say that any excesses of home production; for example products of labour free biologically-automated agronomy such as a glut of apples can’t be generously and joyfully shared among our sisters and brothers. Indeed there is an ongoing directive from Comrade JOE, the first ever Dictator of the group, directing us to nourish, care and share our sourdough starters, SCOBYs and kefir babies with the hope that these thriving symbiotic cultures inspire deepening mutually beneficial relationships within our community, transcending contemporary primitive neo-liberal Homo economicus societies and metamorphosing into SCOPYs (Symbiotic Cultures of People and Yeasts). Please bring along such spoils to the decommissioning of hauls. “
— Comrade BEN
” We are not consumers, we are all in this as a co-op, making the purchasing of food a cheaper, cleaner, socialist activity, an opportunity for a meeting of great minds and promotion of stronger community! A wilful decision to opt out of helping line the pockets of the fat cats! ”
— Comrade DAISY
” The below graph shows the growth of FFC according to three key metrics: number of buyers, number of suppliers and total group spend. A fourth metric of ‘Collective Spirit’ was simply off the scale. ”
— Comrade JOE
” A further advance in our experiments in creating a post-capitalist, degrowth, cybernetically controlled economy – namely, the Decom Rota. Let us transcend the labour market and enter the collaborative economy of the gift. If you wish to nurture this reciprocal mode of energetic exchange, please enter your name in a slot and you will be loved for it and the universe will give back by means unbeknownst. ”
— Comrade BEN
” At heart we are a group of people who want good food at reasonable prices from decent suppliers, we want to support local producers who care about their impact on the environment, we want to be inclusive, and we just love the wondrous piles of goodies that appear at the monthly decommissioning. From it’s humble beginnings 5 years ago as an Essential buying group, the Falmouth Food Coop has grown into a thriving community asset. ”
— Comrade ALEX
” Socialism is a philosophy of success, the creed of understanding, and the gospel of good will, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of joy. “
— Comrade BEN
Resistance. A termed oft bandied about in “radical” circles, is a
term that confuses me. My apprenticeship in new age interpretations of
various schools of eastern philosophy has left me indoctrinated with the
practically opposing ideas of “going with the flow”, following the
“Tao” or fulfilling one’s “dharma”. That the relationship between
volition and action should resemble putting out a sail to catch the
wind. And yet many of my teachers have also politicised me with this
idea of resistance. To resist the ubiquitous faceless power, the “they”.
How do they marry the two sentiments, perhaps it is a perennial
dichotomy, two sides of the same coin, a dynamic within which we must
find balance? You may at this point be thinking that this email, whose
usual function is to inform you of the banal formalities of the working
of this food coop – the upcoming order deadlines and decommissioning
date ( Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th and Monday 13th for the AUTOMATOR,
order pads and decommisioning respectively), rather exceeds its remit.
I have sensed that there are some within our tribe that are feeling pushed by the current state of our parallel economy to resist. More precisely, to push back against the technological determinism that has characterised the contemporary stage of the group’s development, the over-powering dominance of the AUTOMATOR. In the same way as socialising, shopping, discussion, debate and communication have been sucked into the virtual realm of the internet, so too has the AUTOMATOR, like a black hole, its gravity, altered the course of our movement. What was supposed to be a vehicle to aggregate suppliers and facilitate the seamless division of bulk-bought products, risks the medium becoming the message.
— Comrade BEN