The local food movement isn’t just about growing food: it’s about systematically shrinking the distance between producers and consumers – and a new initiative in Budapest, Hungary is doing just that in a very creative way. Three separate projects – an organic vegetable farm (Zsamboki Biokert), a do-it-yourself bicycle cooperative (Cyclonomia), and a self-managed bike delivery company (Kantaa) – have come together to create Cargonomia, an urban food distribution hub which uses locally-manufactured cargo bikes to deliver locally-grown food across the entire city.
It’s a business model which integrates each partner’s strengths: vegetable deliveries from Zsamboki Biokert are coordinated by Kantaa’s distribution experts, and made using Cyclonomia’s bikes.
In this way, Cargonomia goes beyond ‘local food’ to encompass the entire local economy. It hosts a fully-fledged community center where local residents can borrow, rent, or buy their own cargo bikes, host activities focusing on the transition to a local-scale economy, and attend events to connect with other social and environmental initiatives in the city.
And the project continues to grow: Cargonomia has recently partnered with two local bakeries, and now delivers bread across the city as well as vegetables. All told, Cargonomia and its partners have helped create more than 20 local and sustainable employment opportunities in the Budapest region.
To learn more, visit Cargonomia’s website.