Consumer Co-operatives & Short Supply Chains
During the past 15 years, European consumers’ desire to buy local foods, to know the ingredients and the exact origin of their food has steadily increased, with consumers willing to pay a premium for this information. This trend may have been triggered and exacerbated by many factors ranging from the emergence of food scandals to the increased availability of technology in everyday life which may have influenced consumers’ desire to be more informed also in the food sector.
Consumer co-operatives have always been proponents of local foods and short supply chains and have since their beginnings – in Rochdale in 1844 – provided its consumer-members with local products. This afore-mentioned emerging trend has only increased the already present tendency to source locally given that consumer co-operatives are continuously adapting their own product range in order to answer to consumer wishes. Consumer co-operatives were pioneers in labelling the origin of foods and have through the years been committed to continuously improve traceability. In recent years, in addition to providing consumers with traceable products and displaying the origin of food, the supply of local products and ingredients has taken a very prominent place.
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