Islington Food Cooperative Network

In 2020 the Islington Food Partnership worked across the borough to develop and set up a network of food cooperatives, providing residents with access to cheap wholesale and free surplus food.

What is a food cooperative?

A food cooperative is a group that comes together to give people access to food (and other household items) at affordable prices. A food co-op describes different types of approaches, and can be run by community groups, or residents themselves. In Islington we are encouraging local residents to join or start up their own food buying groups.

The way a food buying group works is simple – the group decides on what items the group wants to buy and how much each member should contribute. By pooling the money, co-ops can purchase large amounts of food at wholesale prices. As a co-op you can also register with local shops, supermarkets, restaurants and food suppliers to get deliveries of surplus food – food that is perfectly edible but is excess, on its sell-by date or out of season.

Each co-op is owned and run by its members, so you decide together how to manage yourselves, how much your membership fee is, what you want to buy, and you share the management responsibilities together.

Get involved

During 2020 and 2021, a network of seven community-based food cooperatives were established across Islington. The successes of our pilot network project has been brought together in our Learnings and Insights Guide, which we have written to provide our key learnings and insights to other food partnerships, local food networks, local community organisations, and local groups and individuals interested in setting up local food cooperatives.

As part of this Learnings and Insights Guide, we have published a number of resources that may be helpful for those interested in setting up their own co-operatives.

Resident-led buying groups

You can also join our Islington Local Food Co-operatives Network Facebook Group to start chatting to others in Islington who might be interested in starting or joining a local cooperative. When you are getting started, you might want to join our Food Activists Network for tips, advice and ideas. 

Organisation led cooperatives

If you’re an organisation interested in getting involved, please contact us for more details.

If you are an Islington resident looking to find community food services or support

Please ring the Manor Gardens Welfare Trust Assistance line on:

07538 562128

or email us

Lines are open Monday – Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Anything else? Get in touch!

In case you have any questions or want to join the partnership please don't hesitate to get in touch with us

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