Areas we cover
When you sign up for membership in Vestfold Kooperativ, you choose which area you wish to belong to, which will be the most convenient place for you to collect your produce bags from throughout the year. You can choose either:
Tønsberg - Nedre Langgate 19, Skaperverket Cafè
Nøtterøy - Furumoveien 2, Steinerskolen Vestfold
Each area consists of an internal logistics team, whereas all the other teams support both areas. We would like to expand into a third area in Horten and are waiting until the number of members there become sufficient for that to happen. Register your interest for Horten membership via firstname.lastname@example.org. We will add you to the list and you will be contacted when the Horten Kooperativ starts up.
Who are we?
Vestfold Kooperativ is a non-profit organisation, run by and owned by its members. We work closely with local farmers to facilitate the sale of locally grown organic and biodynamically cultivated fresh produce. The Kooperativ purchases produce directly from the famer on behalf of members. This ensures that both the farmer is fairly paid and that the members get reasonably priced goods by cutting out the costly supply chains between farm and customer. Additionally, direct sales reduce the damaging impact on the environment of transportation, packaging and food waste. The scheme is run as a co-operative enterprise which is made up of: Annual meeting and member meetings - Committee - Service teams
So how does it work?
Membership costs 280 kroner a year. As a member of Vestfold Kooperativ you can buy organic and biodynamic food from farmers in Vestfold once a fortnight. Bags of produce are ordered through our website using “registrermeg.no”. Read more about the different types of produce bags we offer.
Members can pick up their produce bag from one of our distribution points every second Wednesday. The deadline for placing an order is midnight one week before you are due to pick it up (i.e. to collect in week 45 you must place your order by midnight on Wednesday in week 44). You can place an order every second week or less often if you wish to by skipping a fortnight, if you are going on holiday for instance. You are not tied to any payment other than for those orders you place via the website and moreover you are not obliged to place any orders.
The produce bags can be picked up every second Wednesday (uneven week numbers) from the distribution points between 4pm and 5.30 pm. As a non-profit enterprise the success of the Kooperativ depends on the efforts of dedicated volunteers. Every member is therefore obliged to help out by volunteering to do one shift or by being on one of the teams. We all pull together to make the Kooperativ work!
How can I help?
Vestfold Kooperativ is an organisation which relies on input from members to keep it running, meaning that we are totally dependent on voluntary commitment to make it happen. Members have a duty to volunteer for one shift or to help on one of the teams. It is hoped that you will manage to assist us on about two shifts each semester.
A shift - Packing: 3pm to 4pm. Packing shifts involve checking the delivery, counting, weighing and packing the produce into the Kooperativ re-useable bags. One person or more from the logistics team is responsible for managing the shift and for delegating tasks.
B shift – Collection: 3.50pm til 5.30 pm. The main task while manning the collection point is to hand out filled bags to members who have placed orders in exchange for empty ones. The collection of bags is documented on a form provided by the logistics team. Cleaning and tidying up the collection point afterwards are also tasks for the collection shift team. These shifts are fun and pleasant and are a great way for members to get to know each other. We look forward to seeing you! Once you have accepted to undertake a shift it is not possible to swap it. In the case of illness or other unavoidable circumstances though, please let us know as soon as possible.
Vestfolds Kooperativ committee controls and unifies the entire operation. The committee consists of members who are active on the teams and who undertake extra commitments to keep the Kooperativ running. Some of the committee’s tasks include: communication and information, coordinating, decision taking and other formalities.
The Kooperativ's 10 founding principles
The range of foods we offer should be:
1. Cultivated and produced in accordance with organic and biodynamic principles - All the produce we procure is cultivated in accordance with organic and biodynamic principles. This means any type of farming method that does not exhaust the soil or introduce more synthetic chemicals, fertilisers or pesticide sprays into the earth and the environment. The agricultural methods we support are founded on the desire for healthy and sustainable agriculture, clean water, biodiversity and animal welfare.
2. Grown locally whenever practical - The distance from farm to table is an extremely significant factor in how fresh food is, how it tastes and its nutritional value. The shorter the distance between the place that vegetables are grown and where they are consumed, the smaller the environmental impact. By supporting local food-production we help to preserve knowledge and culture that is particular to an area and which gives the food its distinctive characteristics.
3. Seasonal - The range of produce we offer is subject to seasonal factors.
Our range of produce is distributed in ways that:
4. Support fair and direct trading - Many farmers and growers face pressure over pricing and their incomes suffer as a result. This leads to many negative social and environmental consequences that impact both locally and globally. We strive to ensure that there are as few links in the food supply as possible between Vestfold Kooperativ and the farmers by having personal contact with them.
5. Are environmentally friendly - When we become aware of how we are using up the earth’s resources we are more responsible about food waste, recycling and the conscious use of materials which helps to reduce our CO2 footprint.
6. Communicate and promote information about good food and the organic and biodynamic movement - We want people in Vestfold to be better informed about how their food gets to the table. We think that increased awareness about sustainable food production will not just generate support for Vestfold Kooperativ but will also allow people to make sensible choices about sustainability for the future. Sharing our experience of running Vestfold Kooperativ is also important so that we may inspire other towns and communities to start their own similar initiatives.
7. Are economically viable and self-reliant - In order for Vestfold Kooperativ to grow and have a sustainable future, we have to be able to stand on our own two feet without external funding. Being independent of public and government-run departments makes us less vulnerable to their continually changing priorities. This means then that we must be able to cover all our costs and outgoings through membership fees and other income streams and have access to a voluntary workforce.
8. Are transparent in order to promote trust in all our production and distribution chains - We are completely open about all our financial transactions, our suppliers, our members and what happens to our profits. We are transparent about the decision-making processes that shape the choices we make to offer the best service possible to our members
9. Are close and accessible - We are striving to make organic and biodynamic produce a regular and normal part of a daily diet rather than a luxury accessible only to food gourmets. By offering affordable prices, Vestfold Kooperativ is accessible for all members. We want organic and biodynamic agricultural produce to be fairly priced for members and farmer alike. Quality and sustainability will always be prioritised over price though.
10. Is run by local community working together - Vestfold Kooperativ is not just about delivering sustainable produce, but is also about building a platform that allows members to work together on positive projects that take root where they live. It as a concept that may inspire members to come together over a common need, goal or interest which in turn can encourage local communities to flourish.