Community Food Initiatives North East


To positively impact on health and well-being, the environment and unemployment by creating work opportunities for and with disadvantaged, vulnerable, low-income individuals, families and communities in the North East of Scotland.


Main Activities

CFINE runs a range of initiatives aimed at creating work opportunities through food provision and education programmes. They have established a large network of community food outlets across Aberdeenshire, and facilitate a food bank at their head office in central Aberdeen.

A community training kitchen, Cook at the Nook, offers advice on nutritional home cooking as well as offering training and development opportunities for beneficiaries.

CFINE also provides a range of support services including: financial capability and education support, the Roots & Shoots programme offering support and volunteering opportunities to ex-offenders, a Cash in Your Pocket referral scheme helps get access to pensions, benefits and debt relief, while also offering assistance in setting up and paying fuel bills, council tax and other administrative tasks.


Business Model

CFINE have successfully developed a number of independent revenue streams to sustain their social activities. Having suffered from the recent slump in oil prices after building up an impressive array of contracts with local oil companies, CFINE are well on the way to replenishing their income streams by selling fruit, vegetables and healthy snacks to retailers, offices, hotels and restaurants.

They derive rental income from spare office space at their head office and are currently looking into refurbishing IT equipment to sell on at a profit.

Cookery training classes are sold to those who can afford it at their Cook at the Nook community kitchen, while their new Tuk-In scheme will see a tuk tuk selling pre-made, healthy lunches to corporate clients.


Social Impact

CFINE’s mix of food provision and employability programmes combine to bring about a considerable social impact both locally and regionally.

Cooking classes and training opportunities improve self-worth and provide a robust social network to reduce the effects of loneliness and isolation.

Skill acquisition is continually supported, with vacancies filled, wherever possible, from priority groups including those who suffer from poor mental health; learning difficulties; homelessness; addiction; unemployment; and with a criminal record.

Fact File

Established: 2004
Workforce: 28 staff equating to 21FTE 250 volunteers/work experience placements/adults in supported training.
Turnover: Year to end 2016 - £1.2m
Legal Structure: Co. Ltd by Guarantee, with a wholly owned trading subsidiary.
Website: Visit Website
Twitter: @CFINEAberdeen
Facebook: View Profile

“None of our work is specifically titled ‘tackling loneliness’, but CFINE’s experiences is that a very significant proportion of our beneficiaries have few or no families and friends. Loneliness is a feature for many beneficiaries. So, through our range of activities, tackling loneliness is an integral part of what we do.”

Dave Simmers, CEO