Food co-ops do not usually buy from retailers like shops, street markets or box schemes because the main way to cut prices is to cut out the 'middlemen'.

However, in some areas where there are not many other suppliers, buying from a retailer may be your best option, especially if you want to buy a whole range of goods from one place.

Some shops may already offer a wholesale service alongside their retail outlet. Also you may have a very good greengrocer, box scheme, street market or farm shop in your area which some people would like to use but are not able to get to, for example due to lack of transport. So rather than compete with them you may want to work with them.

Many shop managers will be willing to negotiate on price depending on how much you want to order.

If you are able to provide a bulk order that can all be delivered to one collection point, it is well worth asking if they will offer a discount on their normal prices - especially if you can make a commitment to regular purchases.

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.

Sustain summit
12 Oct 2022

The summit will consider meat and dairy production and consumption in the context of the climate and nature emergency, where inspiring work and opportunities exist, and the assumptions and underlying values about meat which have shaped our policy to date.

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Your donation will help us support communities to set up and run food coops and buying groups across the UK to improve access to healthy food.


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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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