Volunteers launch low-price food market in Splott

A weekly food cooperative market stall launching in Splott today will enable residents to purchase mostly plastic-free home and food products at low prices.

Splo-Down Food Cooperative is an autonomous group of neighbours from Splott, Adamsdown and tremorfa who have come together to meet their own food needs collectively and share low costs with the community through the benefits of community purchasing at wholesale price.

Tonight, at 5pm, the group launches its weekly member-ran market stall at the Oasis Centre courtyard (Splott Road, Cardiff, CF24 2BW).

The market will then run every Wednesday 5pm-7pm.

Purchasing and distributing good food affordably, the group also aims to strengthen community connections as they go.

What the food coop offers:

  • Being able to pre-order and collect a seasonal veg bag for £3 sourced locally through a local green grocer;
  • A space to meet other community members, have a tea and a chat
    Pay-it-forward: the group operates a pay it forward scheme where members can pay in advance for other community members to enjoy a free veg box or some of the other foods;
  • A veg swap box: for if you have some extras at your allotment, don’t want some of the veg in your veg box, or need to take a bit extra;
  • Pay-what-you-can membership: membership prices range from £6/year upwards with a sliding scale based on what people are able to pay. As the group grows, they plan on offering other things like seed and seedling swaps, recipe cards, tea and coffee, and workshops.

Organiser Alice Taherzadeh said:

“At Foodbanks, people don’t really get a choice of what they get. Our big focus is making a space that isn’t stigmatised – everyone can come to this place, we’re selling all different types of food. People can pay forward for other people’s veg boxes – not as a sense of charity, but as solidarity.

Moving into Splott it’s really noticeable compared to other areas of Cardiff how strong the sense of community is here. Splott and Tremorfa are long standing communities in Cardiff, and they have a really strong sense of support and solidarity.”

The members of the Splo-Down Food Coop want to create a space for everyone in the community whilst also acknowledging how unequal people’s access to resources is.

We think community is a good space to start addressing the unfairness of our wider economy.

We believe in solidarity not charity. We offer the opportunity for people who feel more comfortable financially to pay more into the coop so that people who are feeling more squeezed financially can
pay less.”

Group Goals:

  • Make healthy food more accessible and affordable;
  • Reduce food insecurity for the members of the Splott, Adamsdown and Tremorfa communities;
  • Give buying power to communities;
  • Help to cut large corporations and industrial-scale unsustainable farming practices out of supply chains;
  • Further strengthen the sense of community within Splott, Adamsdown and Tremorfa;
  • Meet and break bread with neighbours;
  • Support and collaborate with local food growing projects;
  • Build resilience during the pandemic and post-Brexit.

Organiser Daniel Pass said;

“There’s space for the whole community to be part of it. We know people are looking for ways to help each other, especially in 2020. This is really about building a resource where the community can work together and support each other. We’ve kickstarted it but we are aiming to make a sustainable venture that people can rely on over time.
Hopefully it should be something that will outlive all of us.”

Splo-Down Coop – Group Values Statement

We believe that communities can meet their own needs in ways that benefit everyone equally. We are member-run – by the community, for the community. We are an autonomous group that makes decisions collectively through deliberation and active listening.

Everyone has unique skills, networks, passions, life experiences and abilities – and we need all of them to make this work! We believe in teamwork, cooperation and collaboration, and support everyone to contribute as members according to their strengths and interests.

We believe the strength of community lies in recognising and valuing differences, redistributing power, having honest communication, showing solidarity, caring for each other and cultivating friendship. We welcome all neighbours to join as members and commit to working together to make
the coop accessible and inclusive.

We value flexibility, reliability and responsivity. We believe that when neighbours are in charge rather than for-profit companies, we can adapt to support each other and ensure no one lacks access to good food.

Alternative Local Economy
We believe in transforming our economy and we’re starting with food! We want to see a shift away from large corporations, exploitation, competition and waste; towards a locally-grown regenerative economy that meets everyone’s needs, enables communities to share and makes sustainable
choices cheaper.

To find out more about the launch event, click here:

To become a member or find out more about the group, click here:

*Photographs provided by Splo-Down Food Coop (thank you! :))