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Organic Buying Groups

Soil Association's are a partner in 'Making local food work', a lottery funded partnership project led by the Plunkett Foundation. I am their SW regional coordinator working to help develop and support Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and organic buying groups. This project is helping to developing and support new and existing local food systems which provide 'alternative routes' to market for producers, whilst fostering closer community links with their food and how it is produced.

There are many different CSA models that can be used, which will depend on a number of factors namely the land, farmer/grower and community members involved. There are some excellent case studies and a very good 'CSA action manual' on our website, where you can find very comprehensive

However setting a buying group* may better suit your situation and needs. I am currently able to provide support and advice to consumer groups in the SW who would like to develop a buying group and source local organic produce, for more information contact me at

I look forward to hearing from you.

with best regards

Traci Lewis
SW development coordinator
Soil Association

M 0787 0268654

*Organic buying groups are people who regularly get together to buy organic food. Groups can be made up of a handful of people, or a much larger number. They can buy fresh produce such as meat or vegetables from a farmer, or dry and canned goods from a wholesaler. Group members usually live near each other and share a delivery between them. They have at least an informal agreement between them about how things are organised, and sometimes have a formal legal structure such as a co-operative.

If you are interested in setting up a group, use our guide to find about how go about it and find out more about other people's practical experience of how their buying groups operate. If you are an established buying group currently purchasing dried goods from a wholesaler and want to begin sourcing fresh produce including meat, fruit and vegetables, eggs and dairy, please contact us and we can help you to establish links with local farmers.