GAS is an acronym which stand for the Italian expression Gruppi di Acquisto Solidale , which means solidarity-based purchasing group. This expression is used to indicate a group of consumers who decide to cooperate in order to buy food directly from the producers. These purchasing groups are made spontaneously and called themselves solidarity-based because they share a critical approach to consumption and apply principles of fairness, solidarity and sustainability for their purchases. Specifically, this principles lead to the choice of local products (in order to minimize the enviromental impact of transport), fair-trade goods (to respect producers and human rights) and reusable or eco-compatible products (to promote a sustainable lifestyle).
In Italy GAS experiences already exist since 20 years and are really diffused at the local level: are there similar realities also in other European countries?