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Dr. Juliana Lutz
Institute of Social Ecology Vienna (SEC)
Alpen-Adria Universitaet
Schottenfeldgasse 29
1070 Vienna, Austria
Tel.: +43 1 5224000-418
E-Mail: julia.lutz(at)

Community supported retailing SpeiseLokal! in Austria


SpeiseLokal! is a community supported retailing experience. 

  • Country: Maria Anzbach (Austria)
  • Foodlinks theme: Short Food Supply Chains
  • Year started: 2011

Targets & measures

SpeiseLokal started as a consumer-driven initiative in cooperation with a female organic farmer. Inspired by the Scottish consumer network “The Five Diet”, SpeiseLokal was originally thought of as becoming a platform that connects people who are interested in local food, and which provides information on local and global food systems and on the various aspects of food, nutrition and gardening.

SpeiseLokal! sells what farmers decided to offer each week. Thus, only local and seasonal products are sold. Trust in the producer and retailer is based on personal interaction between the three women that run SpeiseLokal! and the farmers/producers. In order to establish close relationships between farmers, consumers and retailers, SpeiseLokal! still serves as a platform that connects people and initiatives. Every month it organises excursions to the farmers who deliver. It organises, coordinates and promotes cookery workshops, lectures, seminars, feasts and other events somehow related to food issues. It provides information on (sustainable) food production, distribution and consumption and helps people share their ideas, recipes, initiatives.

SpeiseLokal! has 5 people working within the structure. Currently they interact with about 40 farms in the region of Lower Austria. They serve about 70 families each week. Farms get a high percentage of the final product price (two thirds of the final product price).

Interaction and knowledge brokering activities

Consumers have an active role since they must get in contact via the web shop, via telephone or by visiting the shop on Fridays. Also, consumers have the possibility to join excursions to the farms/producers, do voluntary work or bring what they have grown in their gardens. SpeiseLokal! also cooperates with initiatives situated in Maria Anzbach (e.g. alternative schools and kindergartens). As one of the women that runs SpeiseLokal! works at the University, SpeiseLokal! interacts with researchers as well.


a platform that connects people who are interested in local food, and which provides information on local and global food systems and on the various aspects of food, nutrition and gardening. Very soon the idea arose of setting up the possibility to purchase local organic food. From the beginning, the people involved were families, who were already active in various other civic initiatives (e.g. parent-organised kindergartens and schools). Thus, the idea of setting up a Food Coop in its classical sense, including a high amount of voluntary work, neither seemed attractive nor realistic. Also the idea of setting up a CSA (community Supported Agriculture) seemed to incorporate too much voluntary work. Furthermore the initiative did not want to stay exclusive, only attracting a small group of people already interested in a local, organic diet. The question was: How can we provide local, organic food for everyone?

Inspired and encouraged by other Austrian civic food networks, three women continued to work on this question. They visited about 40 farmers, between 6 and 80 kilometres away from Maria Anzbach, asking whether they would be prepared to deliver them their products once a week. This was done in cooperation with two women who started a similar civic food network in nearby St. Pölten. The idea was to set up a solidarity-based small enterprise that sells organic food from the farmers nearby. Solidarity based means: fair prices as well as fair and close relationships between consumers, producers and retailers. As most of the farmers agreed to deliver their products, SpeiseLokal! soon started to sell once a week. People order between Friday noon and Tuesday morning via a web shop. The farmers get the orders by Tuesday afternoon and deliver on Thursday or Friday morning. On Friday consumers pick up their orders at the farmers store, rented on a farm by SpeiseLokal!.

More information



Juliana Lutz, Institute of Social Ecology Vienna (SEC)

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