Good Earth is the first consumer cooperative in Macedonia, registered in 2015. As founders of the cooperative, we are concerned about the social processes in Macedonia, their impact on human health, the dispersal of local communities and the suppression of local initiatives. The main “umbrella” element that we see is the pollution and unconscious (unreasonable) use of natural resources and their endless pollution.
The awareness of the current and future effect of these facts on us and our immediate surroundings was initiation to form an organization that will try to be a shining example in many fields of our existence, and in relation to food. Most of all because we beleive that there is no other option, as to make a compromise with the personal health and health of our community – is already inadmissible.
Depending on the aspect of “success” and the point of view of it, we do not deviate from what we internally feel as “should be”. Relieved from “growth” and profit accumulation, we are in great advantage in the direction of existence according to a model (on a cooperative) that we believe can solve many existing problems in the supply and food production today.
The topics that we deal with in our work (our “weak points”) are intertwined with more science / disciplines united perhaps in the phrase “environmentally and socially sustainable systems for local food sovereignty”. We are setting up an organization that will be organized as horizontally as possible, transparent and socially oriented. We exist to set an alternative to the existing system of production, distribution and consumption of local food.
With our activities we are dealing with:
- Food sovereignty – which model provides healthy local communities based on interconnectedness and trust through nature protection?
- Why local producers are not the ones that our food system is based upon?
- Direct relation of consumers with producers – shortening the supply chain and pollution, trust, social cohesion.
- Public gardens and compost
- Increase the public awareness for gardening and local food production (with the least environmental footprint)
- Composting of all bio-waste
- Recycling, reuse of materials
- Reduce waste when delivering products
- Reduction of pollution caused by transport of products
How do we do this?
We organize sales of Macedonian organic products in two ways:
- Through an organic weekly cart for members
- For consumers who are not members of the cooperative (in the store of the cooperative in Taftalidze).
We make decisions collectively, we try to be as transparent as possible, the profit (if any) will be used exclusively to support the idea for which we have been formed – the more people in Macedonia to consume local organically tested products for which they are eligible.
Producers (especially small ones) in Macedonia do not sell products directly to consumers (it is an additional obligation besides production for which they often lack skills). The Cooperative helps them to get access directly to consumers and the market and offer their products. The market is dominated by large distributors and market chains that add a margin and dictate the rules regarding the price, terms, and quantities of products. In this way small organic producers are marginalized and shake-out, and the market is not accessible to them. But they can contribute and produce the healthiest and best quality organic products.
Good Earth is the first store in Macedonia who abandoned use of plastic bags.
First place on Social Impact Award 2015
First place in the regional competition for Green Businesses – Filantrophy