Benefits

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.

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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

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