Local Community Takes Over Failed Grocer and Flourishes

I sat down at my desk this morning and struck up a conversation with Ben Childs who was sitting at the table opposite. After the normal introductory questions of 'what do you do?', Ben informed me of a fabulous initiative in his home town of Slaithwaite (pronounced "Slawit" if you want to sound like a local), in West Yorkshire.

The local Green Grocer in Slaithwaite had recently gone the path of many high street businesses in these rocky times and had closed its doors. This was a major blow to the community so the community decided to do something about it. A core team formed and developed a project to operate a new grocery/greengrocery in its place, owned and run by a community cooperative.

Local people and organisations came together to ensure the future survival and prosperity of the greengrocer by creating a cooperative (an Industrial and Provident Society) that now owns and runs the business.

This is the sort of community initiative that comprises the growing global movement of taking back responsibility for the food we eat. Green Valley Grocer is an inspiration and hopefully it will be an example and model for communities everywhere to embrace. It is people like these guys that are leading the charge toward the gradual reformation of our global food systems.

I am looking forward to visiting the store in the next few days before we pack our bags and head back to sunny Waiheke Island.

Congratulations Green Valley Grocer! Viva La Food Revolution!

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