The one big cause of constantly raising cost for the food, groceries and other goods is “Man in the Middle”.
In india, a farmer can not fix the rate for his product, where the oil companies fix their rates and change them frequently. The price for the agriculture products are fixed by the brokers and agents.
We, as consumers can not reach the farmers and buy the stuff from them. Bacause
- we can not buy in large scale
- we can not store food products in large scale
- we have to travel a lot to buy directly from farmers. We wont travel 20-100 km to buy 1kg of rice.
But, somehow, if we buy the goods from the farmers, we will get them for very low cost and farmers will get high income as there is no man in the middle.
How can we achieve this?
In my native, Kanchipuram, there are many silk manufacturer’s society, milk sellers society. Where the group of people join together, manufacture and sell something.
Like this, why cant we form a consumer’s society?
Imagine this. We all consume many things regularly. If we all form a society/organization by contributing a small amount of money as subscription fees, we can solve all the 3 issues mentioned above.
With the huge money,
- we can buy in large scale
- we can build storages
- we can create many local shops so that members can walk and buy stuff
The management of the organization should be transparent. All the decisions should be well acknowledged by the members.
This is how the open source community is building software. When we need something, we join together, discuss transparently, take decisions, roll out our sleeves, get hands dirty with keyboard, write code, fix issues and done.
Similarly, here is a social problem. We need to buy directly from farmers. How can we achieve this? Building consumer society, connecting with other consumer societies across the state/country will be a good solutions.
Imagine, today there is a consumer society is started. What should bethe guidelines for that? How much can we set the membership cost? It needs some initial money to set a shop, storage, salary for people, electricity bill etc. How can we pay for them until we get significant amount of members reached, so that it runs on its own self sufficient fund? What will be your doubts and fears on joining such society?
Share your thoughts.
Do you think, this is impossible?
It has been proved for 165 years in UK. Quoting from the wikipedia page, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Co-operative_Group
Read the full page to know more.
The Co-operative Group, commonly known as the Co-op, is a British consumer co-operative with a diverse family of retail businesses including food retail; electrical retail; financial services; insurance services; legal services and funeralcare, with in excess of 4,500 locations. It is the largest consumer co-operative in the UK and owned by more than 4 million active members. Membership is open to everyone aged 16 and over, provided they share the values and principles upon which the group was founded. Members are democratically involved in setting business strategy, decide how social goals are achieved, and share in its profits – in the last quarter of 2016 over £15m was returned to members and their chosen local community causes
The Co-operative Group has over 70,000 employees across the UK.
The Co-operative Group is unusual as a co-op because it is owned by millions of UK consumers and also a number of other UK co-operatives, making the business a hybrid of a primary consumers’ co-operative and a co-operative federation.
Image source – https://www.flickr.com/photos/12859033@N00/2151256125
I am wondering, how we missed the co-op culture from the UK, when we copied all the politics, law, culture from the british people.
Yes. The Consumer Co-op culture is all around the UK and it has making the country wealthier.
Why cant we create such nation-wide networked co-opeative organization in India? We can. Share your thoughts on this. Let us build a great consumer society. Let us buy directly from farmers and manufacturers.