Different types of food co-op generate different amounts of waste.

Bag and box schemes generally have very little waste because everything is ordered in advance. In comparison, if you run a stall or mobile shop you won't always be able to predict how much will sell. This is why some food co-ops run several stalls during the week - leftover produce from a stall on one day can then be sold the next day.

Good ordering systems and proper storage will help you to reduce the amount of waste you generate. However, a small amount of waste is inevitable in any food co-op, so it's worth coming up with ideas to make the best use of any leftovers.

For example, you could give leftover food to volunteers or donate it to a community-run cookery group, homeless shelter or youth club. You might even want to invest in a juicer, and use any fruit and vegetables that are likely to go off to make juice or smoothies to sell at your co-op. 

Failing all else, you can compost leftover fruit and vegetables or use them as animal feed rather just putting them in the bin. A local allotment scheme or community garden may be pleased to receive regular leftovers to build their compost heap.

The Love Food Hate Waste campaign can give you other tips and hints.

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