The idea of establishing such an organization – Food Co-operatives Network (SKS) – an umbrella organization of Polish Food Co-operatives – appeared many times during meetings of people representing different co-operatives. This need was also expressed during the II Food Sovereignty Forum organized by Nyeleni Polska (Warsaw, 30.01-02.02.2020). Representatives of several food cooperatives met in the working group “Parasol for food cooperatives”, which resulted in establishing an informal, open organization called Network of Food Cooperatives.
The Food Co-operatives Network is a common good. It helps to develop social relations and the resulting opportunities for action. Together with all Polish food cooperatives we want to prepare the food economy for positive change. We come together to express social opposition to the practices of the corporate agri-food industry, building a food system based on people’s right to adequate food, food sovereignty, and a climate-safe system.
SKS’s main goal is to strengthen the cooperative movement by creating a platform for dialogue and collaboration. Aiming to provide mutual benefits to the cooperative community, the umbrella organization serves to support them, deepen their identity and protect the values they have developed.
We wish to realize our mission through:
- associating food co-operatives in Poland,
- promoting open co-operativism, i.e. strengthening co-operation between co-operatives by, among other things, exchanging experience and good practices, network projects,
- supporting cooperatives in their individual activities, both in terms of content and infrastructure,
- incubating new cooperatives – developing flexible “instructions for establishing cooperatives”, sharing knowledge
- discussion of current cooperative problems,
- linking cooperative communities to the cooperative movement – its principles and legacy,
- drawing on the experience of cooperatives in other countries,
- disseminating the idea of the common good in agricultural and consumer circles,
- exploring the needs of male and female farmers in cooperatives,
- representing the cooperative environment to administrative bodies, the media and other entities,
- creating points of reference for public institutions on the subject of food co-operatism and the legislation it requires,
- expanding the participation of Polish cooperatives on the international forum – organizing conferences, workshops, meetings,
- digitalization of cooperatives, promotion of platform cooperativism (an Internet platform with digital resources of shared knowledge and software),
- connecting different communities in order to build common knowledge on the management of common goods and the economy of the common good,
- citizen participation in food policy making.