The BEES coop project consists in a cooperative, participatory and non-profit supermarket. This initiative is carried by Brussels citizens willing to create an alternative to mass distribution.
Because we want more diversity and we are tired of tasteless and overpacked supermarket products; because we strive for products respectful of human beings and the planet; and most of all because we wish to know what we are eating and to be able to make conscientious choices, we are creating the BEES coop.
A shop where you can purchase everything you need, where a simple tag clearly indicates the origin and quality of all products. Most of them will be organic, as local as possible, conditioned in the most ecological way or available in bulk. You will find fresh and healthy food coming from producer cooperatives or fair trade.
This citizen project aims to represent Brussels’ social and cultural diversity. BEES coop is a place for meeting and social bond, rooted in its neighborhood.
The client is also property-owner and voluntary worker. She owns at least one share of the cooperative, participates in strategic decisions and works 3 hours a month in the supermarket.
But who are we?
The project was launched by a group of young citizens related to the Réseau ADES, inspired by the Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn and La Louve in Paris. They were quickly joined by citizens of all ages and now develop the project together.
The project is entirely run by its members (currently 360). Together they work on the creation of the first cooperative and participatory supermarket in Belgium. 80 people among them also take actively part in thematic working groups such as Communication, Business Plan, Accounting, Supply, etc.
Besides these thematic groups, 3 people are working fulltime for the cooperative thanks to financial support by the Ministry of Environment and two research projects in collaboration with the ULB.
In order to get used to distribution and partnerships with producers, to test the products and match supply with the needs and preferences of the participants, a buying group was created one year ago. It quickly reached its maximal size.
The opening of the shop is scheduled for September 2016. People willing to shop at BEES coop will be able to buy cooperative shares from January 2016 on.