You are here

Who we are

The objectives of Alfalfa House

Submitted by admin on 1 July, 2012 - 20:51

 1. to provide a retail source of wholefoods so that members may have some control over the sources of their food supply;

 2. to provide information on and promote the use of low-cost, ethically-produced and packaged wholefoods, cruelty-free foods, vegetarian     foods, vegan foods, organic foods and genetically modified-free foods;
3. to run an ethical, not-for-profit business

4. to minimise resource wastage and, hence, encourage reuse and recycling;

5. to support other cooperatives whose objects are similar or related to the objects of the cooperative; and

6. to stimulate community development, foster community spirit and promote sustainable living.


How decisions are made

Submitted by admin on 1 July, 2012 - 20:53

Alfalfa House makes decisions using consensus decision making.Members are encouraged to have direct input into co-op policy such as what products are stocked and what services are offered. One way is through the Members Council (MC), the board of directors, which is elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) each spring.

What is a cooperative ?

Submitted by coordinator on 13 July, 2012 - 14:21

A cooperative is different from other forms of private or public organisation in that it is owned by its members who directly run the organisation, make decisions democratically and use capital fo

What is Alfalfa House

Submitted by admin on 1 July, 2012 - 20:02
Alfalfa house alternative logo #5462

Photo © Hartmut Toepler

Alfalfa House is a not-for-profit cooperative that aims to provide, where possible, minimally packaged and minimally processed, affordable, wholesome, organic food to its members.

Most of what the co-op sells is un-packaged. Shoppers bring their own containers and scoop, pour or ladle out the exact amount they want. Neither you nor the environment pay for unnecessary packaging.

As well, you only buy what you need - the price per kilo is the same whether you buy 5 grams or 5 kilos! The co-op stocks a surprisingly wide range of foods for such a small shop.

As you can see from the list of products, from staples like dried fruit, nuts, seeds, grains, rices, beans, flours, bread, herbs and spices, teas and coffees, cooking oils, to refrigerated goods such as tofu, tempeh and dairy lines, as well as pastas.

We carry macrobiotic goods, sea vegetables, soy and rice milk, juices, and chocolate and carob snacks.

We stock a range of laundry and cleaning products as well as personal care items such as soaps, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, eco toothbrushes. We also stock a wide range of in-season organic fresh fruit and vegetables, much of which is Farmer-Direct.

The co-op prefers ethically and environmentally sound products and checks with suppliers to ensure the conditions and methods under which the goods are grown and processed meet those standards. As much as possible we buy goods produced by organic/biodynamic methods and by other co-ops.

We also encourage reuse by returning bulk packaging (such as boxes, drums and crates) to suppliers and we recycle and compost wherever possible, and encourage all members to do the same.

Prices are competitive and any profits are returned to the co-op in the form of better services and more affordable goods. The more involved members are, the cheaper the goods become; and the cheaper the goods are, the more people will shop!

As well, all bookkeeping and accounting processes are freely available for member scrutiny. All members are entitled to a 10% discount every time they shop, although a 25% discount is also available if they choose to volunteer.


How did Alfalfa House begin ?

Submitted by admin on 1 July, 2012 - 20:08

Alfalfa House grew out of a rent strike by a single household in Charles Street, Erskineville in 1981.

Food grants

Submitted by coordinator on 7 November, 2013 - 11:22

The Alfalfa House Food Grant Scheme is an initiative to further one of the co-op's objectives: to stimulate community development, foster community spirit and promote sustainable living. The scheme aims to support community and activist groups with similar objectives to ours by offering for tender a monthly food grant of $100 on store items to help with food costs for special events such as conferences, workshops, teach-ins, public forums etc.