The main principle behind all community run food co-ops is that by pooling their buying power and ordering food in bulk direct from suppliers, a group of people can buy good food at a more affordable price.
Food co-ops, food buying groups, food clubs and food groups are terms that are used interchangeably to describe a food outlet that is run on a not-for-profit basis to give people access to good food at affordable prices. We have used the term ‘co-op’ because it implies co-operation which is all about people working together to achieve something they couldn’t do on their own.
It is worth noting that although the term food co-op is commonly used, you will need to have a formal membership structure to be officially deemed a ‘co-operative’. See Co-operatives UK for further information.
What are food co-ops?
Food co-ops can include veg bag or box schemes, fruit and veg stalls, informal groups purchasing dried wholefoods in bulk to get discounts,...
Why set up a food co-op?
The main reason people set up food co-ops is to make it easier and cheaper to buy good food. In many areas people find it quite hard to buy healthy...
Benefits of food co-ops
Food co-ops can have a wide range of benefits and so setting up a food co-op is not just about providing good food.
Food Co-ops and other projects or campaigns run by Sustain have produced a number of publications that can help communities, schools, colleges,...
Food co-op films
The best way to understand how food co-ops work is to visit a few in person but this isn't always possible. The next best thing is to...
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Your donation will help us support communities to set up and run food coops and buying groups across the UK to improve access to healthy food.