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Food co-op grows and goes online

16 August 2013

by a staff reporter

daily bread co-operative

Shares: Lord Williams at the launch of the Daily Bread online service last month

Shares: Lord Williams at the launch of the Daily Bread online service last month

A CHRISTIAN food co-operative has gone national and launched an online service. Daily Bread, a workers' food co-operative based in Northampton, was founded in 1980 on the principles of equal pay for all, employment for the more vulnerable members of its community, ethical foods, and a commitment to sourcing local as well as global produce.

One of its founders, Roger Sawtell, said: "Our whole ethos, right from the start, has been to put people before profit. We are proud to have steadily built and grown this co-operative, which is not only an integral part of Northampton and the Midlands, but will now be available for the whole country to enjoy."

Daily Bread has an annual turnover of about £1.5 million. All profits are either reinvested into the business or donated to the co-operative's own international charity, Strive Overseas, which funds small projects, often in the countries from which Daily Bread sources foods.

The co-operative stocks more than 5000 products, including dates from Iran; sultanas from Turkey; olives and oil from Greece; prunes, raisins, and nuts from the United States; and Fairtrade coffee from women's co-operatives in Peru, Nicaragua, and Uganda; as well as honey and smoked garlic from Northamptonshire.

The online service was launched by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams, who also toured the business and tried some of the food, last month. He said: "It's a serious enterprise, creating work and opportunities for people to feed and nourish themselves better, and modelling the co-operative way of working that I think we ought to be learning more about."

In an interview with the Northampton Chronicle and Echo, Lord Williams supported the comments of his successor, Archbishop Welby, on payday-loan companies such as Wonga. He said: "This is something many of us have been working on for years, complaining about the high levels of interest payday loan companies charge, and the impact that has on people who are already disadvantaged.

"I think the Church should do what it can to encourage and increase charitable methods of lending and working."


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