Buying Clubs

Get Started

Obtaining food is one of the most common goals around which buying clubs are organized. The following information will give you some tips on how to start your own group.


1. What is a buying club?

A buying club is a group of people who purchase food directly from wholesale distributors, consolidating orders and money, and then divide the food into individual orders. An essential part of this process is cooperation, which is needed to share the responsibilities and work involved.


2. Why form such a group?

A buying club saves its members money by purchasing in bulk and eliminating some steps in the distribution process. It gives them more control over the source, variety and quality of food purchased, and an opportunity to educate themselves as consumers. It gives the group the chance to buy local products, encouraging the survival of regional agriculture. Finally, a buying club gives its members a chance to meet new people and to feel a sense of community by working together.


3. How does the group work?

Four basic steps are involved: individual members place food orders with the group; the group consolidates the orders and buys the food from suppliers; the order is picked up or received by shipment; and the food is distributed to the individual members. Different systems can be developed for each step at the group’s discretion. The intricacy of the systems will depend upon the number of people involved; what and how much food is purchased; and the frequency of orders.


Decisions to Make, Tasks to Share