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Celebrating 20 Years of True Food

Posted on Monday 1 April 2019

It was in 1999 that a group of friends decided to buy the organic food they wanted in bulk. This was so they could obtain it easily, and reasonably cheaply. These founder members were soon asked by others for the same access to good food; so a plan was hatched to buy more, and sell it around Reading in regular pop-up shops in community venues. Those involved created a community co-operative, whose members ran the scheme as volunteers.

Now, 20 years later, True Food has its own shop in Emmer Green. It is still a community co-op, and its 100 or so members are still responsible for making local, ethical, wholesome and organic food, toiletries and household goods accessible to the people of Reading. They do that by working as volunteers in the shop and behind the scenes, ably supported by a small professional staff. With a range of 1500 items True Food now has a turnover approaching £500K/ annum.

To give thanks and celebrate this success, we are running four events in 2019 that are open to anyone who wants to come. They are:

  1. A talk on Organic Food by Leon Collyer at our AGM. Leon grew up on a farm in Suffolk where his parents used the post-war methods for producing high yields He has since come to see how organic farming is healthier, more ethical, sustainable and can be just as productive. The AGM is on Wednesday 22nd May at 7.30pm in The Quakers Hall.
  2. A Members’ BBQ on Thursday 11th July outside the shop.
  3. An Open Day on Friday 6th September to which we will invite community leaders, our suppliers and other partners. 
  4. A party at RISC on Saturday 12th October from 7pm.

I am also arranging to interview some of our past members to create a short video showing how True Food has developed over 20 years. If you would like to be part of this project please contact me at chair@truefood.coop.                                   Francis Jakeman.

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