Good planning is essential to setting up any new project, including a food co-op.

This toolkit aims to help you work through the things you need to think about when planning your food co-op.

The main stages in planning any project are to:

  1. Identifty your aims and objectives
  2. Establish the need
  3. Explore different options
  4. Design your project
  5. Implement your plan
  6. Monitor
  7. Evaluate

A key part of the planning process is therefore to carry out a needs assessment to find whether there is a need or demand for a food co-op in your area.

Even if you are setting up a very small food co-op it is a good idea to create an action plan answering the following questions:

  • What do you want to do?
  • How are going to do it? what resources are needed?
  • Who is going to do it?
  • When does it have to be done by?
  • Where is it going to be done?
  • How much will it cost?

If you want to set up a larger scale food co-op and plan to apply for large amounts funding you might need to create a more detailed project plan or business plan. A business plan is a document that describes your food co-op, what you hope to achieve, how it will operate over time, and how you will manage the money. It will help you to develop your ideas and can be used to  plan and monitor progress.

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