The Solidarity Economy Cooperative “Syn Allois” (meaning “together with the others” in Greek) was founded in Athens, Greece, in the autumn of 2011. We decided to work collectively, implementing alternative economic practices that aim to meet human needs and promote relations of cooperation, solidarity and equality.
Our main activity is fair and solidarity trade, mostly of food. Our main partner in this effort are the coffee cooperatives of the zapatista movement in Chiapas, Mexico. We import their organic, shade-grown coffee directly to Greece once a year, offering a significantly higher price than the local middlemen and a pre-payment of at least 60% of the import value during the harvest period, as a means of avoiding speculative financing. We also import products from other cooperatives of the Global South, like sugar and cocoa, through our cooperation with the social cooperative Libero Mondo in Italy and El Puente organization in Germany.
For the distribution of these products, we rely on an alternative distribution network throughout Greece that comprises of solidarity economy initiatives, but also small grocery stores and coffee shops. In our location in Athens that functions as a shop, distribution center and event-hosting space, we also sell products of local collective projects and small farmers and manufacturers with whom we maintain direct and long-term relationships.
Besides everyday work, we try to influence our social surrounding through many awareness-raising activities. What inspires us is the feeling that we are a part, even a tiny one, of a growing global movement that works daily to make this world a more beautiful, just and sustainable place.