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Distribución y Compartir Excedentes




  • La cosa más difícil en términos de producción y distribución es diseñar bien con los altibajos: cuando hay mucho por cosechar (ej. almendras) no hay necesariamente muchas personas en la Finca, cuando hay muchas personas en la finca no hay necesariamente la más grande producción, si nos organizamos para vender tenemos que ser muy fiables y organizar muy bien el tiempo ... no es tan sencillo como puede parecer organizar para vender la producción de sobra.
  • Organizarse para mercados es la forma de vender que más desperdicia tiempo y productos: no se sabe cuanto vas a vender y se necesita mucho tiempo para organizar, viajar a mercados y luego vender.
  • La forma más eficaz es incontrar alguna forma que la gente venga a la finca para comprar directamente, o cosechar solo lo que seguramente se vende, etc.
  • Muchas pequeñas fincas ecológicas tienen el mismo problema, y también lo que parece una crónica falta de habilidad de organizarse o juntarse para beneficio mutuo
  • Stella fue echada de la Junta Directiva de Eco-Palma http://www.ecopalma.org/, una Associación creada para productores y consumidores ecológicos, para insistir que hay que pedir a los miembros lo que quieren hacer y no ser solo marionetas a los órdenes de ADER, que ya tenían claro que subvenciones querían que les ayudamos a recoger. En nov07 cambió la junta directiva: investigar si ha cambiado la política anti-democrática de la organización.



Artículo para el Círculo de Intercambio

(escribiendo esto en enero 08)








Oklahoma Food Coop Story



I have particular interest in cooperatives as

examples of invisible structures. Coops provide a

way to carry on large scale enterprises, while

potentially avoiding many of the problems

associated with economic systems dominated by

for-profit corporations.


In 2002, I decided to try to get most of my food

from area farmers. I started a website to give

free publicity to farmers who were selling direct

to the public. This led to invitations to speak

on the subject, and that led to Q&A sessions where

the dominant question was, "how could this be made

easier and available to a larger group of people?.


That led to a year long organizing process which

resulted in the Oklahoma Food Cooperative. On the

first day of the month, the farmers post what they

have available at our website,

www.oklahomafood.coop . The monthly order closes

on the 2nd Thursday of the month, and then on the

3rd Thursday the farmers come to town, we divide

everything up into individual customer orders, and

those orders then go out to 22 pick up sites

across the state. Everything we sell is grown or

made in Oklahoma, and is sold by its producer. A

producer can't buy wholesale and then sell retail

through our system.


The delivery day activity involves about 100

people, who come together at the sorting site and

the 22 pickup sites to be the "middle-people". We

have three incoming routes that pickup products

from several producers, so all the farmers don't

have to come to OKC. They are volunteers,

although we have a volunteer incentive program

that offers $7/hour credit towards purchases, and

we reimburse route and pickup site drivers for

their mileage. About half the hours worked are

turned in for work credit.


Producers set their own prices, they pay 10% to

the coop for selling, and customers pay 5% to the

coop for buying.


More detail about our method of operation is

online at




In 2002, I had yet to formally study permaculture,

but I had been reading about permaculture ever

since I first encountered the concept in the

Co-Evolution Quarterly magazine. In our

organizing campaign, we spent about 6 months

working on finding interested people, and then

another 6 months in active design (while we

continued to look for more people).


Our first monthly order was in Nov 2003, and we

sold $3500 in groceries. In Dec 2007, we sold

nearly $60,000, and in Nov 2007 we sold our

"millionth dollar". We expect to sell a million

dollars worth of local production in 2008. And if

our 2004-2007 growth rate continues through 2011,

in Dec 2011 we will sell one million dollars in

one month. I caused a minor pandemonium at the

board meeting where I made that comment, we all

feel the growth rate will "certainly" slow down.

Of course, we've been saying that for the last

four years, and it hasn't happened, in fact, it

seems to be accelerating. I tend to think that if

the production is available, we will be able to

sell it, as we could easily double our sales

overnight if we had more local production

available. Our vegetables, eggs, butter, and

cream sell out the first day of every monthly



By offering a market, an easy way for producers in

rural areas to sell to customers in urban areas,

we are stimulating more local production. This

fall a group of backyard growers here in Oklahoma

City joined together to form a marketing coop, the

City Farms Coop, to jointly market their organic

production from their back yards. All I had to do

with that is give four presentations to meetings,

the interested people met each other, got the

idea, and now they are running with it.


We've helped four groups in other states start

their own local food coops, in Idaho, Texas

(Denton), Nebraska, and West Michigan. Organizing

campaigns are going on in the Ottawa Valley of

Ontario, Iowa, and western Kansas/Colorado front

range. We make our software available for free to

such groups under the General Public License

system (we call it the "Local Food Cooperative

Management System"). Their contact info is at

http://www.oklahomafood.coop/otherstates.php .

Software info is at

http://www.oklahomafood.coop/software.php . NB:

this software is not like e.g. a Microsoft product

that you can just download, plug and play. It

requires someone with php and msyql experience to

set up and manage. One of these days we will get

to the plug and play stage, but not yet. We are

at version 1.4, and are trying to finish a

statement of work for a Version 2.0 .


In the coop world, there has been a tendency for

some large coops to become more "corporation" in

their orientation. And buyouts by corporations of

some larger coops has also been a problem. We

tackled that problem early on by installing a

non-amendable provision in our Articles of

Incorporation to make it impossible for anyone to

buy us and convert us to a for-profit corporation.


So that's my invisible structure story.


Bob Waldrop, Oklahoma City

tadpole in training with





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