Community Food Co-ops go from strength to strength

Welsh Assembly Government

Community Food Co-ops go from strength to strength

A selection of fruit and vegetables

Community Food Co-ops are being set up across Wales to create a healthier, happier Wales.

Community Food Co-operatives have been running in North and South-East Wales since April 2004. There are already over 100 registered community food co-operatives in Wales serving nearly 5000 families and engaging around 800 volunteers. To build on this success, food co-operatives will be extending into Mid and West Wales from April 2007.

In November 2006, the community food co-operative programme in Wales won a World Health Organisation award for counteracting obesity – chosen for work in promoting fruit and vegetables with a focus on vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. The programme was selected by experts from more than 200 applications from 35 countries.

Consumption of fruit and vegetables is lower in Wales than the rest of the UK. We know that most of us in Wales eat considerably less than the recommended level of five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. In 2004 only 41% of all adults in Wales reported eating five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is important and it could lead to a 20% reduction in deaths from diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke and cancer.

The community food co-operative programme gives access to fruit and vegetables which are:

  • good quality;
  • affordable; and
  • from locally produced sources wherever possible.


A food co-operative is an excellent way to bring the community together. People get to know each other and all sorts of other activities often develop as a result. Food co-operatives can operate well in any community. Wales has successful co-operatives in rural villages, valleys, towns and cities.

There is no membership or constitution required for a co-operative and, in most cases, no need to source outside funding. Customers can order as little or as much as they like. All the money taken goes directly to the supplier.

With a new Community Food Co-operative about to be launched in the Upper Afan Valley the programme continues to go from strength to strength.

If you think your community would benefit from having its own food co-operative, or if you would just like further information.

Visit: www.nutritionnetworkwales.org.uk/foodinitiatives
Note: This will open a new window in your browser.

29 January 2007

Related Links

A food co-operative is an excellent way to bring the community together.
Eating more fruit and vegetables may help reduce the risk of the two main killers in this country - heart disease and some cancers.