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.
Health benefits, food co-ops can:
- Increase access to affordable fruit and vegetables and other healthy foods.
- Help raise awareness of the benefits of eating a healthy diet.
- Improve well-being in volunteers who often gain increased self esteem, confidence and a sense of purpose.
Environmental benefits, food co-ops can:
- If set up to do so, increase the supply of local and organic produce.
- Make it easier for people to shop by foot or by bike by providing outlets in residential areas.
- Provide food that often has less packaging, and therefore generates less waste.
Social benefits, food co-ops can:
- Engage local people in their community, which may then lead on to other activities.
- Act as a focal point for local people to meet up and make new friends.
- Help to revitalise community facilities.
- Provide a more sociable place to shop.
Economic benefits, food co-ops can:
- Help to support local producers and more ethical suppliers by providing an outlet for their goods.
- Keep money circulating in the local economy.
- Offer volunteers new skills and work experience.