Who is this toolkit for?
The food co-op toolkit is likely to be most useful for individuals and groups who are thinking of setting up small-scale food co-ops or other local food retail initiatives run by volunteers.
Food co-ops for whom this toolkit is intended come in various forms, such as buying clubs, stalls, bag or box schemes, mobile stores, home delivery schemes, markets or shops.
The food co-ops toolkit is therefore focussed on information about distributing and selling food; it does not aim to provide any information about how to grow produce or run catering projects.
While there is plenty of information in the toolkit related to selling fresh fruit and vegetables it is important to bear in mind it also contains information about other types of food, such as wholefoods, and that much of the information is relevant regardless of the food type you choose to sell.
The toolkit will be most relevant to food co-ops that either register as consumer co-operatives or that run more informally by a group of friends or by an existing organisation. Although some of the information may be relevant to other types of co-operatives, such as workers' co-operatives, the content does not focus on running commercial businesses. For information about setting up other co-operative enterprises it is best to get in touch with Co-operatives UK.
Many of the concepts, such as volunteer recruitment or marketing methods, will also be relevant for other types of local food retail initiatives run by volunteers such as selling jam made from surplus or selling honey from your beehives.
Support our charity
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.