A Food Cooperative is a member-organisation for the purpose of collecting and distributing food among the members.
Food-cooperatives are great examples for setting up a complementary food-system and to increase sharing in your locality. These create a viable alternative to the supermarket driven economy, and are organized on a neighborhood level.
Cooperatives can have a shop or open space for members or guests to buy the food. But the coops can also be run by regular meetings for members to collect the food.
There are multiple ways a food-coop could be organised.
- A Workers' Model where a member contributes time.
- Two levels of Membership, with a lower membership fee for members that volunteer time. These coops can also have a possible third level for “guests”, who only interact with the cooperative occasionally.
Around the World
There are several self-organized food cooperatives in Barcelona. Most of them work with rotating shifts with different people taking care of different tasks each time. They often have connections with several small farmers in the area around the city and bring in food once a week. Often, the food is organic but the farmers don't have the money to get an official certificate.
Setting up a Food-Coop
- Nine steps to starting a food co-op  (1999) - A guide on how to set up a Food Cooperative