If you run a small organisation it might be a good idea to sign up to existing courses run by other bodies rather than try to run them in-house or design them from scratch.

Many of these are free of charge for community projects. If there is a fee, funding may be available. You local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group or environmental health department who may offer free courses on nutrition, cooking skills or basic food hygiene and safety.

If you have a local Volunteer Centre or Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) they will probably offer free training courses on, for example volunteer management, fundraising or making the most of the media.

Business Link organisations also offer some free or low-cost training courses, for example on marketing, customer service or book-keeping.

There may also be relevant courses run at your local college, which will also be free or subsidised for those receiving benefits.

Case study: Somerset Community Food
A grass-roots charity which aims to re-connect people with the social, health and environmental effects of growing, buying, preparing and eating local food.
They have developed a unique training package that has successfully taught hundreds of people to start growing & cooking food.

Some community food initiatives run their own accredited training courses, specifically to help share learning with other community food projects such as food co-ops. These can be quite in-depth and take place over several weeks or months. Some courses may be offered free to people in the local area but participants from further afield would usually have to pay.

To find more useful food co-op related information visit our homepage


Food Co-ops toolkit: The Food Co-ops Toolkit will give you all the information you need to set up your own food co-op.

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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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