Food co-ops across the country use a range of different suppliers. Some create direct links with producers whereas others buy from wholesalers.

What suppliers are available will depend on a variety of different factors, for example whether you are in a large city or small village.

Some regions will have far more commercial farmers growing particular types of produce than others. Also, the size of your food co-op will affect which suppliers are willing to deliver to you or whether you will have to collect.

The information in this section mainly relates to suppliers of fresh fruit and vegetables and also wholefoods. However a lot of it will also be relevant if you are interesed in buying other types of fresh produce.

Whatever supplier you choose the most important thing is to ensure that the produce you buy is good value for money, high quality and the service is reliable, as that is what your customers will expect. You will need to compare the prices and quality at a number of different suppliers before choosing and should always consider having a back-up in case a problem occurs with your main supplier.

It is also important that you can give a supplier as much information as possible about your requirements, for example: what you want to buy, what day you plan to run, what times you are available to take a delivery, and what sort of quantities you are likely to buy.

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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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