Among the actions of the newly launched FA BENE project is the promotion of Family Purchase Groups (abbreviated as FPGs). But how do they work, and what are the benefits of group purchasing? We’ll tell you in this “good news” article.
FPGs and GAS – an acronym for Solidarity Purchase Groups – represent a phenomenon of responsible consumption: individuals who are conscious in their purchasing choices organize themselves into groups to do their shopping, which can involve not only food products but also other product categories. They make purchases in a single order from local short-chain producers, often small businesses, while seeking quality and sustainability in their products, meaning products that respect the environment and workers. It’s even better if these businesses have a social impact on the local community.
By purchasing as a group and receiving their groceries as a group, FPGs and GAS:
- Reduce environmental impact, not only because it’s a local supply chain but also due to a single shipment.
- Save money by buying in larger quantities compared to individual family purchases, and they also reduce waste by organizing their weekly shopping, thus minimizing waste.
- Build communities by coming together for group gatherings.
These are the Family Purchase Groups. Since the first GAS (Solidarity Purchase Groups) were founded in Italy in the 1990s, the phenomenon has evolved while retaining its distinctive features: fair relationships and trust among local economic actors, product quality, and support for local producers to protect their profit margins, a particularly important aspect as producers are the most vulnerable category in the agri-food supply chain.
In their evolution, digital platforms have played a role, with virtual infrastructures such as e-commerce making group purchasing easy and fast. The online world allows Family Purchase Groups to position themselves as efficient and viable alternatives to the dominant agri-food system, an unsustainable system.
FPGs respond to global challenges by pursuing development based on responsible production and consumption. Because even the purchases made by each family contribute to stopping the unsustainability of dominant models. You may wonder how an individual attitude can address global challenges. It can because food choices are among the most impactful personal consumption choices, starting with the fact that it’s the choice we make most frequently.
FA BENE FPGs: Eight Reasons to Join Each consumer, through their purchases, will enable the activation of employment pathways for disadvantaged people (young NEETs, unemployed adults, immigrants, disabled individuals): getting them into the workforce means restoring their dignity. Products come from local short-chain businesses: you can support small producers located just a few kilometers from your home. Products are good and do good: FA BENE affiliated companies produce ethically and sustainably, both environmentally and socially. A commission evaluates the ethics and sustainability of companies and tests products to ensure a quality offering. The convenience of e-commerce: a few clicks, and your shopping is done, avoiding queues and crowds. FPGs shorten the physical and empathetic distance between consumers and the places of food production through direct experience: visits to FA BENE companies. With FPG members, local animation activities will be organized: opportunities to create communities such as social dinners, visits to companies, educational-recreational meetings on the topic of food. FA BENE’s e-commerce allows the purchase of: suspended meals, to be allocated to people in need through FA BENE-affiliated canteens; and suspended carts, where users can buy FA BENE products not only for themselves but also for people in need. FA BENE will distribute the products from the suspended cart. The development of the FA BENE enterprise allows the growth of the Community Foundation of Agrigento and Trapani. Many challenges await us, and we want to seize them for the growth of our territory. Buying FA BENE products means investing in your own community.