Students start up ethical campus shop

A group of students have started up Scoop, a food cooperative on campus, selling a variety of grocery items such as locally sourced organic vegetable boxes.

It is about to be ratified as a society by YUSU and will then gain the financial support accorded to all societies.

However, members of Scoop say that it took a long time to gain recognition from YUSU. Phoebe Cullingworth, a heavily involved member of Scoop, said that originally they “dismissed” the idea and said “we’re not the people to ask, there’s not much that we can do.”

Cullingworth explained that “we just went along and started it without any help from YUSU or the University, started it in somebody’s house, advertised it and got some people down to buy things, got our local veg boxes and proved we covered all the health and safety, that we were legal, that sort of thing and that there was a demand, and then approached the university directly.”

However, she said that YUSU had offered an increasing amount of support as the project became more successful.

“Initially they weren’t very much help but recently they have been helpful in many different ways, really trying to support us in anything we do, which is great to see, but it was quite difficult to start off with no help.”

Another key member of Scoop, Alexandra Peck, explained that the project had been almost two years in the making. “We’ve been trying to get a location on campus and there was a lot of reluctance to give us space.”

She went on to say that “now they’ve trusted us and they’ve taken us really seriously, they’ve given us funding and support.

Dan Walker, YUSU Democracy and Services Officer, said: “It’s an example of a great student led initiative. I’m looking forward to seeing them flourish as they move towards being a full student society. Functioning as a co-op removes a certain degree of financial risk when compared to a market stall, and as a student led endeavor it benefits from passionate and reliable.”

To shop at the Scoop supermarket, one must become a member for a one-off fee of £5, which is repaid in stock when members decide to leave or at the end of the year.

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