Partnership Models Between Producers and Consumers

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Discussion

The Seikatsu Club model

"The Seikatsu Club movement, “a consumer who produces”, promotes the following objectives in co-operation with consumers and producers who act as equal partners through collective purchase movement and business:

  • To reveal absurdity and mechanisms of society from the viewpoint of ordinary citizens
  • To share with producers the risk of time, space, and cost of improving agricultural methods and production process necessary for production
  • To not deprive others of food (including overseas)
  • To realize a truly necessary “alternative production-distribution-consumption-disposal” social system.


For more information, see our entry on the Seikatsu Cooperatives


Partnership with producers

Producer cost guarantee system

The prices of main consumer goods are determined only after disclosure of all information about quality of products, production methods, packaging materials, storage and distribution, delivery cost, etc., thorough discussion, and mutual approval.


Consumer materials development

Seikatsu Club have adopted the term “consumer materials” whereby members employ their collective power of purchase since items are not “commercial goods” for sale, but are for use-value. The items to be developed are determined in a monthly Union’s Consumption Committee based upon the members’ demands and views.

New consumer materials are developed with mass participation of members. Recruited members complete a questionnaire for taste, packaging, price etc., together with market research, to decide the specifications. They then discuss with producers the area of production and the production process, experiment over packaging materials and content volumes, and decide the price.

Seikatsu Club has about 1,600 regular items annually, compared with the over 9,000 items of other co-ops. We demonstrate an alternative life and society, being against mass production, mass consumption, and mass disposal, and by developing consumer materials highly necessary for life, and trying to solve problems of health, environment and safety, as well as members purchasing goods. Also, as members themselves participate in development, it becomes possible to guarantee quality control and safety over materials and the production process and to disclose the information about consumer materials." (http://seikatsuclub.coop/about/economy_e.html)