Questions and answers

Oslo Kooperativ – how does it work?

Oslo Kooperativ is a member-owned and member-driven cooperative for the direct sales of local organic and biodynamically produced raw materials with prices that benefit both the farmer and the members.

As of April 2018, Oslo Kooperativ has two active pick-up locations: Mathallen and Sentrum (Skippergata 22).

If you want to be a member, you pay an annual member fee of 310 Norwegian kroner. When the subscription is paid you will be able to order bags via our Vipps account. We will be launching a new website shortly and once we do so, you can order your bags directly from our online store.

The cooperative is not a regular store or a commercial player. We create value in many ways beyond the goods you receive in your membership bag. In addition to the food you receive, you also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are playing an active part in a larger social community that is working to support small-scale local famers by directly purchasing their goods at a fair price. You also get the opportunity to eat seasonal and local food, learn about sustainability and the impact that food production has the environment. Read more about our 10 basic principles here (Norwegian).

 

You may wonder:

How do you order a bag?
You can order a bag online every other week. The deadline is at midnight on Thursday two weeks before the pick-up date.  Every other week, you can order a bag filled with seasonal ingredients for 210 kroner, of which 200 kroner goes directly to the farmer. We are in the process of creating a new member website for ordering bags. In the meantime, you can purchase a bag via Vipps.

The purchasing group, which consists of volunteer members, is responsible for organizing what members receive in the bags. Members in this working group order goods for the week’s bag (“ukens pose”) based on what the farmers’ have. What is available in the bag every other week will be posted on our website on the Monday of the week of delivery. This means that you will order your bag before you know what is in it. We know this may sound intimidating at first, but it also adds to the excitement of seasonal eating and members post new recipes on a regular basis here. We also offer meat and dairy bags that can be ordered once a month.

 

How much can I contribute?
This a cooperative, which means we rely on the members for the organization to operate successfully. This means that you commit to contributing your time and energy to the organization. This time and energy can be given in different ways. You may choose to contribute to the delivery of the goods at one of our pick-up locations. You can do this at least 2 times a year. Alternatively, you can actively participate in one of our five working groups: Communications, Purchasing, Meat and Dairy, Events, and Logistics. Or you may decide that you would like to be an active volunteer at one or two of our member events throughout the year. You can also contact the coordinator if you are interested in being a member of the board.

 

Who runs the cooperative?
We do! The cooperative is based on volunteering. No active members means no vegetables. The working groups often contribute more time than those who decide to volunteer at the pick-up locations twice a year. By joining one of the groups, you have the opportunity to learn more about this alternative food system while getting to know the farmers and other fellow members. The cooperative also has a volunteer board and a paid coordinator in a 15% position.

 

Who are the ones who deliver the bags?
It is the combined efforts of the farmers and the members! In order for you to receive your bimonthly bag of delicious goods, there are anywhere from 5-10 people who make this possible. Members who sign up to volunteer on the delivery days work closely with someone from the logistics group. Together, everyone receives, prepares, weighs, and labels the goods for our new ‘self-pick’ delivery system. Members of the Logistics Group have overall responsibility for coordinating packing and extradition but everyone works together to make the day successful.

 

What happens if I do not pick up the bag?
As part of our mission to reduce food waste, the cooperative does not store goods. We do not have the capacity nor proper storage facilities to manage the storage and retrieval of goods outside of the pick-up times (every other Thursday between 16:00-19:00). The items that are not collected are distributed among the volunteers on duty or given to organizations, restaurants, events or initiatives supported by the cooperative.

 

Why do I pay beforehand?
You prepay the bag because this creates security for the farmer – for him or her to be paid for the goods they have grown. If you forget to pick up the bag, the farmer still gets his money, but you lose your vegetables.

 

I cannot get my bag. What can I do?
Use our Swap Group on Facebook to donate or sell your bag to other members. Remember to forward your Vipp’s receipt to the member who will be picking up your bag.

 

Can anyone pick up my bag?
Yes, but they must show your Vipp’s receipt. The receipt can be found in your Vipps app and can be forwarded via email or SMS. The person picking up must remember to bring the empty member bag. We do not provide extra bags on site. You are welcome to use a different bag if you have forgotten your member bag but you must provide a way to carry your goods home.

 

Why do the goods in the bag not always match the list of goods provided on the website?
Sometimes unexpected things happen. Sometimes the wrong goods are delivered or the farmer has a little less of an item and has to replace it with another. We will not always know about the change in time to correct the information on the website. We ensure that we always have goods worth 200 kroner in the bag, although some items may vary from what was announced online.

 

Why is the content between the bags and the pick-up locations sometimes different?
Some farms are small and others are large. For example, if a farmer has 350 pumpkins left at the end of the season and we have 700 bags to fill, we can fill half of the bags with pumpkin and the other half with cabbage. Differences in the bags at the pick-up locations may also be the result of various transportation and delivery options in which is becomes easier for some farmers to deliver different goods to each pick-up location.

 

Can I change my pick-up location?
It is possible to change your pick-up location. Until the new member system is in place, it is possible to order bags at your preferred pick-up point on Vipps. More info about ordering bags in Vipps can be found here (currently only in Norwegian).

 

I forgot to order. What can I do?
We do not have the ability to accept orders after the deadline. However, you may purchase a bag from another member via the Swap Group on Facebook. Write a post there when the delivery date is approaching but be sure to read posts that have been recently posted. There may be others who are looking to sell their bag or who want to buy a bag who have already posted for the relevant week.

Do you have more questions? Write an email to contact@kooperativet.no.