Food Co-ops


Apply to us for £1000 start-costs and mentoring to set up your very own food co-op!

Application deadline: 23rd June 2017


What is a food co-op?

Food co-ops and food buying groups are terms that are often used interchangeably to describe a food outlet that is run on a not-for-profit basis to give people access to good food at affordable prices.

They can include vegetable bag or box schemes, fruit and veg stalls, informal groups that purchase produce in bulk to get discounts or food assemblies. The term food co-op is often used to describe all of these but unless they have a formal membership structure they do not meet the accurate definition of a co-op.

Why set up a food co-op?

Good for you, good for your institution, good for your community.

  • Fresh affordable food for students, staff and members of the public.
  • Provides real-life experience of setting up and running an enterprise.
  • Enhances employability skills – leadership, teamwork, planning etc.
  • A great way for emerging student enterprises and societies to market their products.
  • Potential income generation for your students’ union or society.
  • A chance to raise awareness about the importance of buying sustainable food.
  • Supports the local economy and community partnerships.

How we can help you

Mentoring from Sustain

Free Resources to support you to set up and run a successful food co-op

Start up costs of up to £1000

Thinking of applying?

Download our guidance document

The deadline for Round 5 is 23rd June 2017 and all applicants will be notified of their result by 31st July 2017.

Regional training events for successful applicants in all categories will take place on:

  • Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th September 2017
  • Wednesday 11th, Tuesday 17th, Wednesday 18th, Thursday 19th, Friday 20th, Tuesday 24th, Wednesday, 25th, Thursday 26th and Friday 27th October 2017