Bulk purchasing is the process of buying a certain product in larger quantities to obtain the benefits of lower per-unit prices. Usually, companies buy raw materials in bulk to get economies of scale. Since manufacturing companies require a lot of raw materials, that’s why they buy their supplies in a larger quantity.
Not only this it is also a sustainable alternative to the growing consumption of plastic containers, which our planet is no longer able to process.
The market presents food in trays, individual wrappers, in single-use bottles, in containers that can be microwaved, all for the convenience of the consumer, which saves time and effort when making the purchase and Prepare your daily diet. But that comfort has a high environmental and even nutritional cost that reverses the balance and makes the advantage inconvenient.
Benefits of Purchasing in Bulk
Bulk buying groups are a type of food co-op, where a group of manufacturers or people from the same community get together to buy certain goods from the same supplier at a discounted or wholesale price.
Following are some advantages of buying in bulk:
We reduce the number of containers that are discarded daily and that accumulate in landfills or, worse, in the natural environment. At the end of the year, the United Nations warned of the damage suffered by ocean ecosystems, which would already give us a whole post. The situation on the planet is so critical that every container we avoid is a small gesture that counts. Buying in bulk we can take our containers to fill or large bags of cloth.
We can buy the number of goods that we need; however small they may be. In this way we enjoy a fresher diet, spend less and avoid throwing spoiled food for not eating it on time. For a person who lives alone, for example, it is a great solution and a saving.
We see what we buy, which also helps to enjoy better quality in our food and throw less food. Buying in bulk is very beneficial as we can always visualize the quality and condition of the product.
We eat healthier, since the products they sell in bulk are usually unprocessed foods, without unnecessarily added ingredients that harm our health, such as preservatives or the extra supply of sugar in many foods.
Producers save costs by eliminating the packaging process and simplifying logistics to reach the consumer. This can lead to a reduction in the final cost of the product, depending on the producer. It can also mean for the small farmer to be able to sell his product, something that he could not achieve if he had to face the cost of packaging.
We support local trade on most occasions, given that the most common products for sale in bulk come from agricultural cultivation in the area. Buying from local producers means helping this sector that is so damaged by large areas, as well as reducing transport costs and therefore emissions to the environment.
How to Buy in Bulk
We will find a sale in bulk in the traditional square trades, weekly street markets, farmers market, specialized stores, and in some supermarkets and hypermarkets. It is easier to buy certain foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, pasta, pickles, flours, meat, fish. Other areas are more complex, such as household cleaning products. In this sense, producers have more difficulty getting the product to the user, but some shops go with your container to fill the detergent, fabric softener or glass cleaner.
How to locate this type of retail store? Well, taking a beneficial walk through our town or also surfing the Internet, where we always have altruistic spirits that share their eco-lifestyle and that greatly facilitate our work. This is the case of Patricia and Fernando, from the blog Living without plastic, who has drawn up a map of bulk stores that have been locating as many of them as their followers. In this case also, and for their commitment to a life without plastic, all the places they mention sell in bulk without using bags to weigh or take the purchase home or any other type of plastic container.
Some people will think that it is a trend or a fad, but in reality, this type of purchase responds to a real need for a growing group that seeks a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
The consumer group is a new way (more sustainable and ecological) to make the purchase. The people who make them up to seek to have an organic, natural and healthy diet, reduce the environmental impact and achieve more competitive prices.
As more and more people are changing the way they eat, many are also transforming their way of eating. In addition to worrying about the quality and condition of the foods that are part of their diet, a significant number of people are showing a strong commitment to the environment.
The main benefit of having consumer groups in a community is that it unites food, consumption, and sustainability. Hence reducing the number of waste created by people when they buy any goods individually. Through consumer co-ops or consumer groups, bulk buying is promoted.
What is a Consumer Group?
The consumer groups are made up of people who prefer to deal directly with the producer instead of going to a ‘massive’ supermarket. That is, buy food without any intermediary on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis, depending on the product in question, as well as the organization of the team. Although each consumer group has its peculiarities, there are some basic guidelines that everyone has to meet. While some have an informal agreement regarding the organization, others have a legal structure, such as cooperatives.
In general, these ‘teams’ are usually made up of a small number of people, ranging from ten to fifty, who jointly make family purchases and thus obtain various advantages. They can be neighbors, friends, coworkers, acquaintances of the gym or simply people with certain environmental sensitivity, who are similar in values, seek to take care of their food and get better prices for organic products, which usually have a much higher value in stores and usual supermarkets. The consumption groups do not only acquire fruits and vegetables but all kinds of food, cleaning products, and even clothes.
Advantages of Belonging to a Consumption Group
One of the great benefits of belonging to a consumption group is the savings at the end of the month. According to the Eco Farmer portal, the products are purchased in significant quantities to supply the entire group and directly to its producer, avoiding intermediaries. The price paid to producers for these foods, which are organic, fresh, seasonal and local, is much lower than that paid in stores.
Another great advantage of having a consumer group is the environmental aspect. If the members of a consumer group have something in common, it is precisely their commitment to sustainability. With this system, the pollution produced by transporting products from other countries or even continents is eliminated. Moreover, there will be a substantial reduction in the consumption of containers and plastic bags, which take hundreds of years to degrade. However, not only the consumer is benefited from this system, but also it is beneficial for the producer as well.
In this way, bulk buying can predict the incomes of the producers, simplify the processes. Additionally, with bulk buying through consumer groups, the producer’s income is guaranteed as he has peace of mind that the product which he produces will be sold entirely and will not remain in his warehouse.
With the deteriorating condition of the ozone layer and huge amounts of pollution and wastage created by manufacturing companies its important to save our environment. Through consumer co-ops and producer co-ops we can surely reduce the wastage in our society and guarantee income for the producers.