Cargonomia: A Bikable Buffet
By Csaba Mezei
The distribution of low-carbon food by low-carbon transport is the stock and trade of Budapest-based social enterprise, Cargonomia. The project, which took part in the November 3 SEiSMiC National Workshop in Hungary, is a cooperative effort of three kindred enterprises working in the Hungarian capital. They include Cyclonomia Do it Yourself Bicycle Social Cooperative; Zsamboki Biokert, an organic vegetable farm and sustainable agriculture community education centre that distributes weekly vegetable boxes to food communities in Budapest; and Kantaa, a self-organised bike messenger and delivery company.
Cargonomia aims to serve as a hub in the city centre that combines the skills of each partner for the benefit of their respective networks. Based on the principles of sustainability and fair trade, a primary goal is to improve access to locally produced products by promoting direct trade from local producers to consumer communities who seek healthy and environmentally conscious food options. Distribution is done by locally manufactured cargo bikes.
Cargonomia also serves as a all-purpose sustainable logistics centre that will distribute anything that will fit on its bikes. Community members can also borrow, rent and buy the cargobikes.
Cargonomia and its partner’s activities aim to display how environmentally friendly and equity-based partnerships can create sustainable and meaningful community empowerment opportunities. It aims to offer an alternative to standard profit-driven social and economic systems.
Csaba Mezei of the Regional Environmental Center coordinates the Hungarian SEiSMiC National Network.