About Cooperation Town

A co-op organiser packing food.

Cooperation Town is a new network of community-led food co-ops, organising on streets and estates across the country.

Cooperation Town co-ops are small buying groups, providing their members with free and affordable groceries, sourced in bulk and distributed at a very low price. 

Cooperation Town food co-ops are owned by their members and run according to local needs. Members decide collectively on how to organise and are responsible for the day to day running of the co-op.

While each Cooperation Town co-op is independent, the network is designed to share resources and support across the movement.

Our vision is for a food co-op on every street in every town!


What’s the difference between a food co-op and a food bank?
Food co-ops are part of the Cooperative Movement, which means that they follow the seven Cooperative Principles.

Unlike a food bank, where recipients are means tested and have no say in how the service is run, food co-ops are owned by their members, who decide together what to buy and how to run the co-op.
They are not-for-profit groups, set up to meet members’ needs and are controlled by the people who join them. They are based on solidarity, not charity.
While members have to contribute towards the cost of their shopping, food co-ops offer a great value for money.
They are the most affordable – and sociable! – way to get food.

Cooperation Town food co-ops are also not…

– A mutual aid group
– A lunch club
– Free school meals

– A veg box scheme
– An organic, vegan, wholefood buying group
– Meals on wheels


Covid-19
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Cooperation Town co-ops were able to use their existing infrastructure to adapt to mass food distribution.
In London, Bristol, Birmingham and Hull, co-op organisers provided thousands of meals every week to residents on low or no income.
As this ongoing crisis unfolds, Cooperation Town will continue to support residents in need, beyond the co-op structure.


Who we are
The Cooperation Town network is coordinated by a not-for-profit workers cooperative (limited company).
Our core organisers are Kirsty Walker, Katie Higgins and Shiri Shalmy.
Want to organise with us? get in touch here.
Want to support our work? Donate to our fundraiser.


Cooperation Town in the news
Freedom News published an article about Cooperation Town, our Covid-19 response and our plans going forward. 
New Politics mentioned us in their article about radical municipalism in the UK.