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Practical guides and toolkits for community food enterprises

Practical guides and toolkits

Below are some practical guides and toolkits to help you set up or develop a community food enterprise. Where appropriate they have been grouped per type of enterprise, but all of the resources will have relevant tips and information whatever the type of enterprise you are interested in. If you find any of the links are broken let us know by emailing

Making Local Food Work Magazine!
We are delighted to share the Making Local Food Work magazine with you, available to download from here. The magazine, produced as a showcase of our work over the past five years, highlighting the impact both we and the community food enterprises we've worked with have had, was produced for Making Local Food Our Future, the final conference for Making Local Food Work, that saw over 500 people attend on 20th March 2012.

Community Supported Agriculture projects
A Share in the Harvest - essential reading for anyone interested in setting up a CSA project. Download the Appendices here too.

Pig ignorant - a guide to small scale pig keeping.

Country Markets
Better Business - a guide for producers.

An introduction to selling techniques.

Food Co-ops
Food Co-ops Toolkit - a simple start-up guide.

The following publications have also been produced to help set up food co-ops in specific settings: School, University and Work.

Buying Groups and Food Hubs
Food hubs - adding value through catering.

Food hubs - distribution of surplus from allotments.

Organic buying groups - a guide to setting one up.

Local food shops
Local Food Guide - a guide to stocking and selling more local food.

Local Food Shops - a guide to opening one, produced in partnership with River Cottage.

Grow a grocery - a guide to opening a wholefood co-operative.

Understanding Your Customer - a guide to help local food retailers increase their customer base

Farmers' Markets
Successful markets - ensuring your market is a success.

Producers workbook - a guide for farmers involved in farmers' markets.

Funding Tips - a guide to funding for farmers' markets.

Using the media - a practical guide for farmers' markets.

Simply Suite
The Simply Suite is a collection of publications specially developed for community groups seeking more information about the legal, financial and governance aspects of their enterprises.

Simply Start Up - a guide to the Simply Suite and a great starting place for enterprises.

Simply Legal - a guide to legal structures for community enterprises.

Simply Governance - a guide to understanding the systems and processes concerned with the running of a sustainable community enterprise.

Simply Finance - a comprehensive guide to the different options for financing a community enterprise.

Overcoming Conflict
From Conflict to Co-operation is a series of five cartoon booklets from Co-operatives UK which aims to help enterprises not only deal with conflict when it arises but also avoid unnecessary conflict:

1. Conflict - where it comes from and how to deal with it

2. Communications Skills

3. Meetings and decision making

4. Organisational growth and development

5. Role and responsibilities of the committee

Other resources
The Social Enterprise Toolbox - a link to a collection of tools and resources developed by the Specialist Enterprise Support strand of the programme.

A student guide - a practical introduction to community food enterprises for students.

Using the media - a practical guide for all community food enterprises.


Part of the aim of Making Local Food Work is furthering our understanding of the community food sector as it is currently and exploring ways it can be supported to develop. To further this aim a number of research reports have been produced which are available for download below.

Food from the Urban Fringe: Issues and Opportunities - the latest MLFW report.

Local Food and Climate Change - the role of community food enterprises.

Influencing consumer buying behaviour - a guide for community food enterprises.

Supply chain development - a new local and organic food depot for London?

Supply chain brokerage - more local food for University of Cambridge.

Eat Somerset - distribution mapping project.

Supplying food access projects - community food hubs.

Joining the dots - collaborative food buying and sustainable distribution for London restaurants.

Local Food Links - the first ten years of learning about adding value through catering.

Small scale food hubs - an investigation.

Student attitudes to food - key findings of an online survey of students' attitudes to food.

Evaluating CSA - The impact of community supported agriculture projects.

A Growing Trade - Sustain's most recent report on community food growing.

From Field to Fork reports
The following reports have been produced by CPRE as part of the Mapping strand of Making Local Food Work.








Some of the partners on the Making Local Food Work programme produce newsletters on a weekly or monthly basis which include invaluable information and updates relavant to community food enterprises. These include:

Making Local Food Work newsletter - sign up here.

Plunkett Weekly News - sign up at

CSA newsletter - sign up by emailing

Food co-ops newsletter - sign up at

Cooks of Country Markets newsletter - sign up at

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