Le Frigo Vert looking for a helping hand

The Frigo Vert is asking for an eight cent increase on the CSU ballot. Photo by Navneet Pall.
The Frigo Vert is asking for an eight cent increase on the CSU ballot. Photo by Navneet Pall.

Concordia’s organic food co-op, Le Frigo Vert, is asking undergraduate students to vote yes to an eight-cent increase of their current fee levy in the upcoming Concordia Student Union general election.
The non-profit organization asked undergrads for a 12-cent increase to its 25-cent per credit fee levy in March 2010, but it was rejected. A fee levy among graduate students was voted down last April.
Bronwen Agnew, who works at Le Frigo Vert, hopes this year will be different as the co-op is in dire need of support, she said.
“We are at a bare bones time in terms of staff; we are down to five people,” she said. “Because of the fee levy not passing last year, we couldn’t hire new people when others left.”
She explained that the increase, which would add approximately $44,000 to Le
Frigo Vert’s annual budget, would be used to cover higher rent and maintenance costs.
“Our fixed costs as an organization have been increasing every year, but we’ve had the
same fee levy for eight or nine years,” said Agnew. “In that time, our rent has gone up
astronomically. If we don’t get the fee levy increase, it would be a huge hit.”
When asked why they were asking for eight cents this time, instead of 12 cents like in 2010, Agnew said part of the reason is that they need some kind of increase. She indicated that she thinks that one of the reasons the increase was voted down in 2010 was because of the amount they were asking for. Le Frigo Vert has since had time to reevaluate their budget. Agnew said they have worked things out and realized an eight-cent increase is sufficient.
Le Frigo Vert was founded 20 years ago when several students wanted to combine their resources and money to buy organic food at affordable prices. The initial support
from other students was phenomenal and the collective decided to ask students if they’d
be interested in paying a fee levy per credit so that every undergraduate student would
automatically be a member of the co-op.
Since then, Le Frigo Vert has been providing students with low-cost organic and local food on the downtown campus. They sell seasonal fruits and vegetables grown locally, organic bulk food, directly traded organic coffee, and homemade natural shampoos and soaps.
Every Concordia student is a member of Le Frigo Vert, and is welcome to
use the space or volunteer there. Agnew said it is important for Concordia students to
understand that Le Frigo Vert is a student space, saying that the eight cents added onto
each credit will go towards providing a better environment and service for students.
“The student population, and Quebec in general, is thinking a lot about student poverty,” said Agnew. “With tuition fees being what they are, and about to go up, I think our organization
represents a stand against that.”
General election polling will be held on March 20, 21 and 22.


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