Food Co-ops

Applications have now closed for this category

If you are still interested in setting up a food enterprise on your university or college campus please do email us at and we can share some useful resource and good practice with you. 

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.