How to sell food to my friends

Photo credit: Phili Denning

Photo credit: Phili Denning

I am lucky to have great contacts at Sustain in London who run a project building a network of community food co-ops and food buying groups across the UK, and are there to help new groups get off the ground and existing ones to thrive. This was my first point of reference, especially their Food Co-ops Toolkit, a great reference guide to setting up your own food co-op or buying group.

Check out the Toolkit here

One of my first questions was to establish how I would get my friends to join the group. I have many who will be motivated by the environmental and ethical considerations, but also those for whom cost forms a significant, if not overriding, factor. It wouldn’t be of interest to them if the prices were more than their regular shop. So it was off out to the shops for me to do some research.

I visited the shops where I would usually buy my dry goods, which included supermarkets, a health food chain and a local health food store, and noted down their prices of a variety of basic goods such as penne pasta, basmati rice, porridge oats, peppercorns, kidney beans etc. These were all logged in a spreadsheet. Now I needed to consider wholesale ethical suppliers and compare the shop prices with theirs.

The Zero Waste Shop Earth. Food. Love. in Totnes, Devon has recently opened and they have kindly shared information about their suppliers on their website so this was a good first starting point. I also know of Suma, specialist wholesalers through Sustain and my local health food shop. I researched the same items with these suppliers and entered the pricing details onto my, now ever expanding, spreadsheet.

The resulting news was good! Based on my comparison of 20 items from my regular supermarket shop I worked out that a group could save around 30% on the cost of groceries and cleaning products if we bought the products in the largest possible volume. So for items like rice, oats, pulses this would mean buying sacks of 25kg and for the cleaning products, boxes of 15L.

Proof that we could pay less and do our bit for the environment at the same time.


​​Read the next stage in Phili's journey: Where to buy 25kg bags of food

Find out what inspired Phili to start her food co-op journey

 

 

 

Food co-ops

Building a network of community food co-ops and food buying groups across the UK to help new groups get off the ground and existing groups to thrive.

Find out more

Sustain
The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9DA

020 3559 6777
sustain@sustainweb.org
RSS

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.

© Sustain 2020
Registered charity (no. 1018643)
Data privacy & cookies

Sustain