Welcome to one of our newest CB members
Already an active member of the Co-op, you may have met Marina at one of our MAC meetings or on a farm visit. We wanted to get to know her a little better, and what motivates her to be part of Dublin Food Co-op’s community.
What do you do outside the Co-op?
I work for Foróige, a youth development organisation, in the training, learning, and development team – supporting staff and volunteers, developing policy, and overseeing a number of programme areas. Outside of work, I spend a lot of my time cooking and baking, as well as trying (and usually failing) to grow things. I haven’t quite adapted to colder climes yet (even though I left Greece when I was 13!) but on a good day I love to be outdoors with a pair of hiking boots, a flask of tea, and a camera.
Why did you decide to join the CB?
When we moved to Dublin in 2020, I was over the moon to find the Co-op on our doorstep – we live just around the corner. I’ve been interested in food sovereignty and climate justice for a number of years, and I really believe that it’s groups like the Co-op that hold so much promise to get ourselves out of the mess that we’re in. As a society we have become so dissociated from the food that we consume, and so often the more environmentally sustainable or nutritious options are simply not accessible to lots of people. By volunteering to join the CB I wanted to bring this perspective and contribute to the Co-op’s amazing work and ethos. And I can’t lie, I was also looking for a way to become more involved in my community, and as I have a soft spot for governance and committee meetings the CB seemed like the obvious choice!
What is the most challenging thing about being a CB member?
I haven’t been a CB member for very long so it’s hard to say, but I do feel very conscious that as the CB we are ultimately responsible for the survival and success of the Co-op. It’s also really important to me to keep in mind that this is a Co-op – we are our members, and making sure that the voice of members is prioritised should be right at the heart of our decision-making. Balancing these two things is an art that I am still learning. The co-operative approach isn’t always the most straightforward or quick one to take, but you have to trust and respect the process.
What is the most satisfying thing about being a CB member?
I’ve already outed myself as a governance geek, so that’s definitely something I really enjoy – we recently had a strategy day with the rest of the CB and it was so invigorating to bounce ideas off each other about how we can support the Co-op to grow. I also find it very satisfying to get my head around the intricacies of how something works, the challenges that might be cropping up, and figuring out the best way to tackle those. It’s certainly been a huge learning curve for me so far, especially on the commercial aspects. Plus the other CB members have been really welcoming and supportive since I joined, and I’ve loved getting to know them over the last few weeks. It’s an exciting time for the Co-op right now and it’s a privilege to be part of figuring out where we go from here.