THE SUSTAINABLE COOPERATIVE

Sustainability isn't just about the environment

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A small shop with a big heart.

It's early December, a blustery windy day on a small island in the English Channel. Tucked away on this island is a small, secluded farm shop. Face masks, beanies and thick jackets create quite the eerie atmospheric feeling upon entrance. Once inside, though, the dull melancholy atmosphere of winter is replaced with an overwhelming wholesome feeling of good food, good people and a shop with a huge heart.

Green Onions plays quietly from a corner, its steady bass thrumming through the room. I sit down with Kaspar Wimberley, co-founder and creative, and immediately I see this food shop is as organic and wholesome as the food on the shelves.

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It began with a seed.

With previous experience in the arts, Kaspar has always been interested in creating, innovating and curating projects that inspire and engage the local community. A few years before SCOOP was born, Kaspar worked on an art project called Seed Journey, aiming to protect the commons in relation to agricultural practices. The initiative involved artists, farmers and a range of collaborators exploring the potential of open-source seeds. By recreating the journey of a singular seed, one can begin to understand the history of global and local grain production. With this experience, Kaspar began to see the potential for something great here in Jersey. With farming being an integral part of the Jersey economy and identity, there was a missing space where farmers and consumers could connect. Here, SCOOP was born. A shop that provided local, organic and accessible food for the whole community.

Opened in October 2018, SCOOP is a pathway to a better lifestyle here in Jersey.

Sustainability isn't a lifestyle choice, catering only to those who can afford it.

Instead, it is something that everyone, everywhere, should be following.

Not just about the produce.

Scoop is a consumer-led cooperative that brings a more sustainable supply of food to the island. SCOOP aims to create a diet for islanders that responds and interacts to the changing environment.

As consumers, we learn more and more that sustainability doesn't just mean caring for the environment. It is an umbrella term that makes us re-examine the social aspects of our lifestyle. Sustainability asks us to look at socio-economic changes as well as socio-political changes within ourselves and our community. Sustainability asks us to strive for a better future not just for the planet but for her people too. By purchasing at SCOOP, customers are supporting local farmers and sustainable initiatives. By promoting those who care about their land and livelihood, SCOOP creates a community for all those who share this ethos. Further to this, SCOOP works closely with local schools and community groups to educate children on the story behind their food. Through interactive cooking classes and farming workshops, SCOOP is teaching future islanders the importance of using local organic produce.

SCOOP is producing an innovative way of living. By focusing on raising social awareness of the environment - SCOOP is growing a holistic and beautiful lifestyle for the islanders.

Eat with the seasons.

Another appealing element of the shop is the kitchen. It is a progressive and forward-thinking way of helping consumers learn more about cooking and eating seasonal foods. As consumers, we are so used to the accessibility of eating out-of-season food all year round. It is an accustomed way of living and eating. SCOOP forces us to question our mindset and focus more on the land and produce available rather than the instant gratification we get when we can access anything all year round.

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We should look to eat with the seasons rather than eat what we want when we want.

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The beauty of SCOOP and what makes it so different is its heart. It isn't just a brand or business; it is a community of carers, artists, farmers and people only looking for a more efficient and beneficial way of living. Shops like SCOOP have all my love and appreciation, and as we move into a post-covid era, I hope more places like SCOOP will begin to prosper. Because if one thing COVID-19 has taught me, it is the delicate nature of life and how, as a student, I should be looking to make more conscious changes to my diet and consumer lifestyle. SCOOP teaches us not to be fearful of change but rather embrace it with excitement as we look to work with the planet rather than against it.