Over the past year, the Islington Food Cooperative Network, part of the Islington Food Partnership, has developed seven pilot cooperatives led by community organisations. The aim of the pilot was to provide a new and sustainable option for accessing healthy and affordable food in the borough.
The Islington Food Cooperative Network has published a Learning and Insights Guide, developed following the initial pilot of the Network from October 2020 to April 2021 which was supported by Sustain's Food Power for Generation Covid initiative.
The aim of the guide is to support other food partnerships, local food networks, local community organisations, or local groups and individuals interested in setting up local food cooperatives.
For the pilot, seven different local community organisations set up a number of food cooperatives, testing different approaches, across the borough, including:
• Resident-led food buying groups
• Box schemes
• Pop-up shops
• Culturally specific food cooperatives
Alexandra Britten, Islington Food Cooperative Network said:
“It has been transformative for us to run this Food Cooperative Network pilot in Islington. Although we didn’t plan for delivering during extended lockdowns, we still managed to successfully set up 7 community based food cooperatives, with 347 families as members. Most of these continue to run, and we are now exploring exciting plans for a new high street food cooperative shop.”
To find out more and discuss how to best develop food cooperatives in communities across the UK, Islington Food Partnership is hosting an online session on Monday 15th November from 4pm-5.30pm. Members from across the network will be there to share experiences, answer questions, and brainstorm together.
Published 22 Oct 2021
Food co-ops: Building a network of community food co-ops and food buying groups across the UK to help new groups get off the ground and existing groups to thrive.
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