Starting a food co-op

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Chickenlady
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Starting a food co-op

Post: #77722 Chickenlady
Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:08 pm

The Asda thread got me thinking about this again. I know a few people use the Neeps food co-op, which looks great. I would love to try to get one going round here, but I don't really know how to start. I got some price lists from Suma and Rainbow Wholefoods in Norwich, but then I got a bit overwhelmed by the idea!

Can anybody give me any information on starting a food co-op or, if you use one, some info on how they work. Obviously I would need to start by getting some like-minded people together, but then there is the problem of where to put the stuff when it arrives, and other issues like how to pay, getting people to collect it, who actually does the organisational aspects, legal stuff, etc.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Jane
Haste makes waste

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Muddypause
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Post: #77729 Muddypause
Fri Nov 30, 2007 2:37 am

This is the shape that our local organic co-op takes. It began by someone hiring a local community hall for a couple of hours for few pounds and publicising a meeting. I don't suppose it was a very formal meeting - just a gathering of people who wanted to find out how they could organise a co-op together. Enough people turned up and agreed to help to get it off the ground.

It started off as a club for members, but now anyone can shop there, and it has expanded a bit in scope to enable this. They hire a warehouse from the council, bought a truck, and every evening hire a community hall where they set up a market. Recently they managed to take on a couple of paid workers, but the rest is all done by volunteers - including, it has to be said, one or two who are able and willing to work pretty much full time unpaid.

There is a little forum on the website, and you may be able to ask advice there.
Stew

Ignorance is essential

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Chickenlady
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Post: #77735 Chickenlady
Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:03 am

Thanks for that Stew. They look incredibly well organised. I will have a good read through.

I think this is possibly larger scale than I had in mind, though, at least to begin with. I reckon I could get quite a few people interested, through Freecycle, the Green Party, FoE locally, etc. The only small problem is that we have an organic shop here, run by someone I know in the Greens. Not sure what he would think about it...
Haste makes waste

ina
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Post: #77741 ina
Fri Nov 30, 2007 9:49 am

I remember Shirlz had a memo on what to consider when starting a co-op - she may have had it from SUMA - better ask her! It all depends on how you want it to go; whether you want just a small group that shares on set dates, and whether you want it to go into the direction of a shop.
Ina
I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

Shirley
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Post: #77746 Shirley
Fri Nov 30, 2007 10:52 am

interesting link here

One other thing you could consider, depending on how close the organic shop is... you could ask him for HIS bulk prices and then you could all be happy?

Hmmm... can't get the link to work - please copy and paste the above.
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Chickenlady
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Post: #77752 Chickenlady
Fri Nov 30, 2007 12:42 pm

I can't get that link to work, even if I cut and paste it, Shirley.

Did you start the neeps coop? Where did you get the info you needed? Thanks for all the advice so far. I am going to go and Google!

Jane
Haste makes waste

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mrsflibble
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Post: #77795 mrsflibble
Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:21 pm

oh how I love my tea, tea in the afternoon. I can't do without it, and I think I'll have another cup very
ve-he-he-he-heryyyyyyy soooooooooooon!!!!


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