Open Food Network24 Aug 2017
The Open Food Network and a world of online food retail.
If you are reading this, you probably enjoy food that's top notch, particularly when it comes to sustainability and ethics. Produce which is grown organically, farmed kindly, and hasn't travelled half the world to get to your plate. You probably also enjoy eating great meals with family and friends. However, a lot of people struggle with the steps in between…… where to find local, organic and biodynamic food?
Six years ago a group of food policy activists set about building a fair, commonly-owned, not-for-profit open source online system to fill that gap. The Open Food Network (OFN) has been built with volunteer software development, a lot of commited legends and small amounts of philanthropic funding.
"Changing the food system takes partnership and trust" - openfoodnetwork.org
OFN is now being used by growers, farmers and food & drink processors to populate a searchable online map. It takes about 5 minutes for producers to register on the map. Some even take it one step further and set up an online shopfront to sell their produce direct to local shoppers. It is also a great forum for networking with box schemes, shops, markets, food hubs and food co-ops who have set up an OFN ‘shopfront’ to sell produce from several local producers. Here is a case study from an organic farm using OFN.
OFN enables producers to link up with each other to share the costs and their existing transportation resources, to distribute their produce. It facilitates co-operation and gives control of food distribution back to producers more here.
Photo: Open Food Network UK
OFN is a not-for-profit co-operative of users who collectively decide how the open-source software will develop. Producers without their own shopfront (selling only through other people’s shopfronts) are not expected to make any financial contribution. As a platform co-operative OFN asks each shopfront (after a six month free trial) to contribute towards the running costs of OFN according to their use of the system and their ability to pay (starting at a minimum of £1 per month). Start-up enterprises need only pay this minimum until they are up and running.
Open Food Network + Fair Food Forager are talking about teaming up to fix the food system. If you have dreams about how we could make things better, please send us your thoughts. We'd love to hear from you.
Or to find out more about OFN contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Nick Weir on 01453 840037 in the UK.
You can also contact OFN in Australia as well.
Nick Weir - Open Food Network UK
We would love to work with you too. Together we can change the way the world eats.
... because ethical eating feels good!
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