Ed Davey MP, is serious about supporting the concept of groups of people buying products and services together:
However, if there is one thing that was completely clear from yesterday’s roundtable at DECC it was that running a Collective Purchasing scheme does not necessarily mean that you are Group Buying.
What’s the difference? Simple: do the people buying the product actually feel like they belong to something – i.e. a group – or are they simply a collection of people dipping into the scheme as a one-off to conveniently save money?
Group Buying is an extremely powerful movement that takes all stakeholders with it – giving suppliers a reason to buy-in and to support the concept to which they are supplying. When it is done well it has the potential to change lives, enhance communities, reinvent dated economic models and create social and environmental benefits…just watch and see because as Richard Bates from Consumer Focus said: “this is not going to go away”!
The Guardian published an article titled “How local groups can benefit from community buying” in March (http://www.guardian.co.uk/voluntary-sector-network/community-action-blog/2012/mar/30/local-groups-benefit-community-buying) and whilst I commented that they missed the opportunity to quote exact, tangible savings, it is brilliant that they have pushed this message out. I challenged them to keep it going and so I am delighted that there will be an online Q&A this Tuesday from 1-3pm – online – see here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/voluntary-sector-network/community-action-blog/2012/may/03/community-buying-advice?newsfeed=true and even more delighted to be on the panel:
Ken Shaw – head of enterprises, Development Trusts Association Wales
Craig Belsham – head of consumer empowerment strategy, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS)
Julia Swift – policy officer for the consumer empowerment strategy, BIS
Kate Pickering – innovation programme leader, Co-operatives UK
Chris Pomfret – founder, Community Buying unLimited
Anna Batchelor – communications co-ordinator, True Food Community Co-operative
Mike Shamash – director, thePeoplesPower CIC
Media involvement in creating Community Buying into an ism is completely essential. Please do come and ask your questions and make your comments.