Fruit and veg stall.
Food co-ops buy food and other household products in bulk and have access to free supermarket surplus food. Photo by Ian Turnell on

Camden community organisations are invited to join an online event this week to find out how to set up a local food co-op.

In 2021 Cooperation Town secured funding from Camden Council and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust to develop a local network of food co-ops across the borough, supported by a local food hub.

Cooperation Town is a Camden based organisation, supporting people locally and nationally to set up community food co-ops.

“We invite local groups and organisations to find out more about the Cooperation Town model, hear about the Camden project and discuss ways we could work together to help residents set up their own neighbourhood food co-ops,” they say. 

Food co-ops are neighbourhood buying groups, where members buy food and other household products in bulk and, in addition, have access to free supermarket surplus.

They are run by their members, who together decide what to buy and how to run the project. Co-op members save up to 40 percent off their weekly food costs by organising with their neighbours.

In order to benefit from the co-op you first have to be a member.

“Food co-ops offer a sustainable alternative to food banks, while helping to build members’ confidence and increase community participation and resilience.

“Co-ops are independent, self-organised neighbourhood groups and, once they are set up, usually require no further support from their host organisations, apart from access to a space once a week,” says Cooperation Town. 

At the event there will be a simple step-by-step guide to setting up a community-led food co-op in your neighbourhood, whether it is a community centre, TRA hall, place of worship, or school.

From Mutual Aid to Food Co-ops: A practical guide to setting up community-led food co-ops. Register for the online event. 11am to 12.30pm Friday 21 January 2022.

For more information about Cooperation Town visit where you can also download the Cooperation Town Starter Pack.