Food Co-ops Toolkit - a simple and comprehensive guide to setting up food co-ops

This 150-page, comprehensive toolkit has been produced as part of the Big Lottery funded Making Local Food Work programme to help more communities set up their own food co-ops and buying groups.

Food co-ops
150pp - 2011

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Food Co-ops ToolkitMore and more communities are setting up food co-ops so they can get good food at an affordable price and have more control over where their food comes from.

Co-operation is all about people working together to achieve something they couldn’t do on their own. In the case of food co-ops a group of people volunteer their time and pool their buying power so they can order produce at cheaper prices, direct from suppliers and local farmers.

Packed with easy-to-follow tips and advice, the toolkit covers issues such as how to buy fresh produce, food hygiene, pricing, planning, promotion and marketing. Extensive appendices also provide templates to help you with the practicalities, such as a model volunteer agreement, a sample constitution, an example cashing up sheet, a price comparison table and a guide to selling fruit and vegetables.

The toolkit is also presented in easy-to-navigate format on the Food Co-ops website. On the website, you can also browse the Food Co-ops Finder to locate co-ops selling food near you, factsheets for setting up food co-ops in different settings (such as universities, schools and workplaces) and case studies of co-ops already running in a range of situations.

The toolkit has been produced by Sustain in partnership with Somerset Community Food, London Food Link, Newham Food Access Partnership, Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency, Food Chain North East, F3 and Co-operativesUK.


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.




Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming

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.