The Vienna-based food cooperative Butz & Stingl was launched in april 2015 by Patricia Ermesa, Nicolai Ritter and Michael Graner. The initiative puts their growing feeling of responsibility towards a fairer food production into practice.
The food cooperative offers an alternative to the big food industry. The members of Butz & Stingl feel that the mass-produced products in regular supermarkets can no longer be trusted. The individual has no grip on the production process of the food that they are consuming. The coop has a different approach and brings the consumer and producer in direct contact with each other. This offers a range of advantages for both groups. On the one hand, consumers can follow the entire food production process and assure that the food they purchase is of high quality. Producers on the other hand can easily determine the demand, since they are closely connected to the consumer. On top of that, this form of food production makes it possible for small producers to exist, in a market where big food corporations are often pushing them out.
Because the food co-op operates on a small scale, products do not have to be transported from far away places. Butz & Stingl instead offers products that are regionally produced and in season. The co-op even has members that busy themselves with food conservation. By making compotes and chutneys, fresh fruits and vegetables can be preserved for a longer period of time.
The warehouse of Butz & Stingl can be found on the east side of the Donau and opens daily from 8am until 10pm. Members place an order online and then individually pick it up. The members pay an annual contribution and are encouraged to volunteer whenever possible. Because the food co-op has no supermarket or personnel, most of the money is used to improve the quality of the products. Generally, Butz & Stingl aims to make food production fair and sustainable for both producer and consumer.