Open Food Network

National

About

The Open Food Network is building a new, fairer and more connected food system. One part of this is their open-source software platform, which makes it simple for farmers, producers and food hubs to create online stores. Communities can even bring together local producers to create a virtual farmers’ market, helping to build a resilient local food economy.

The Sustainable Table Fund is supporting Open Food Network to further develop this platform to support the growth of regenerative food supply networks and increase their impact. They are pioneering the establishment of an open and easily interoperable ecosystem of regenerative food supply network solutions.

This will help regenerative farmers and food hubs to strengthen their businesses by:

  • Selling fresh, local produce online
  • Reducing their costs and administrative overheads
  • Reaching a wider customer base
  • Forming connections and share knowledge with other values-aligned businesses
  • Participating in short supply chain food systems

The project’s key objectives are:

  • Enhancing the Open Food Network public infrastructure offering with API endpoints that make Customer and Product data available/connectable. These new endpoints can be used to prototype tools and solutions that provide immediate value to farmers, producers and food hubs using the Open Food Network in Australia. Examples of what is possible include:
    • Customer notifications and alerts (email and SMS) for events such as the store being open, orders being ready, delivery notifications, payment reminders and order cycles being about to close.
    • Bulk application/ removal of discount codes making it possible to run targeted marketing campaigns.
    • Customer analytics to make it easier to see your regular customers and who have not purchased anything in a while.
  • Ensuring that our development roadmap is focused on the features and functionality that is important to farmers, producers and food hubs. The Open Food Network will be undertaking a pulse check to identify the features and functionality that will have the most value for farmers, producers and food hubs.
  • Develop and launch a new product offering for Open Food Network in which we use this new Open Food Network infrastructure (API endpoints) as the base for timely, flexible and affordable customised tech solutions for Australian farms and hubs.

Open Food Network is unlocking a new generation of digital solutions

Project Updates

July 2022

We’ve been focusing on two areas in the last two months; our API functionality for customer data and our Pulse Check, which will help us to gain a better understanding of the community food enterprise sector in Australia, and how they can be supported. Our customer API is technically finished, we are working with several food hubs at the moment to test new functionality and make sure it is ready for use by our general customer base. This will enable new functionality like the ability for hubs and producers using the Open Food Network to create vouchers.

We want to ensure that the work that we are doing is making the maximum positive impact for community food enterprises around Australia, and in order to do this, we first need to understand the challenges and opportunities faced by community food enterprises. That’s where our community food enterprise pulse check comes in. We are hoping to receive responses from as many different food hubs, co-ops, buying groups, farmers and producers and other community food enterprises as possible and will be turning the findings into a report which will improve how support is delivered to the sector, and unlock funding opportunities. We’re also hoping to run the pulse check on a recurring basis so that we can understand how the needs of community food enterprises change over time. The pulse check will be open until the end of August and can be completed here.

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