Have you thought about selling produce online? If you are reading this you probably like growing high-quality food. 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, distribute, retail and buy local, organic and biodynamic food and drink?
The internet is a great source of information as well as an efficient marketplace – but how do you go about selling produce online? 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 the gap between producing and selling (or buying). The Open Food Network (OFN) has been built with a lot of volunteer software development commitment and small amounts of philanthropic funding.
OFN is now being used by growers, farmers and food & drink processors to populate a searchable online map of local food producers and retailers. It takes about 5 minutes for producers to register on the map. Some of these producers are going one step further and setting up an online shopfront – and then they are selling produce online, direct to local shoppers and buyers; you can even add a link to your organic shopfront on your FREE LoopyFood.net producer listing! Others are making links 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 the producers.
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. So you see, OFN can help you to so much more than just selling produce online.
To find out more contact email@example.com or phone Nick Weir on 01453 840037