Podcast: The Startup Challenge, Vodafone World of Difference, and Creating a Better Food System in Christchurch

Image from Stuff Media: Iain McGregor (http://bit.ly/YIkwCm)

Image from Stuff Media: Iain McGregor (http://bit.ly/YIkwCm)

What’s the day-to-day life like for a Local Food entrepreneur?

 

We thought we’d get in touch with one of The Local Food Startup Challenge entrants to find out what they’re up to, what they’re working on, and how they’re creating a better food system.

 

Garden City 2.0 logo

We got Bailey Peryman from Garden City 2.0 on the line and asked him a few questions about his work in the recovering city of Ōtautahi/Christchurch where new shoots of food resilience are starting to blossom.

 

 

 

Listen to the full podcast here:

 

 

Bailey is currently a Vodafone World of Difference scholar working for Soil & Health Association, and here’s the links to some of the projects he’s working on this year:

 

Garden City 2.0 are backed by our Local Food Startup Challenge. If you’re keen to find out whether you can benefit from the $0.5m Global Startup Fund too, check out the website, and start building your business today – you’ve got till May 6th to sign up!

Mapping Local Food Webs : Guide to Getting Started

Local Food Webs are often complex and dynamic, but there’s great value in seeing how they’re connected.

 

How can we visualise the interconnection of our local food economies, gain greater support from local government, and catalyse more community resilience & trade?

 

Bucky Box brings you CPRE's guide to mapping food webs

 

If you want to learn more about the value of local food webs, you can download the full report from Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) which details their 5 year study into 19 projects in the UK.

 

 

The key findings cover economic, social, environmental & cultural aspects of local food webs and include:

  • Local Food is a key driver for local economies, which is at threat from industrial supermarket growth.
  • Local Food webs contribute to the strength of smaller outlets, maintaining the attraction of town centres through local food and contributing towards their diversity, character and the community
  • Providing channels to market for new and micro, small and medium- sized businesses, supporting producer businesses and enabling farming to remain diverse and varied in production and outputs including values supported by consumers such as freshness, provenance and seasonality
  • Encouraging engagement of consumers with food and, through the human scale and connection within local food networks, enabling shoppers to understand the realities, challenges and impacts of food production and to choose to make a difference individually and collectively.
  • Enabling sustainable & regenerative agricultural practices, and encouraging diversity in our food system.
  • Building community and a rich culture around a central premise – food.

We particularly appreciate the aspect that Local Food is a concept – not a certification or label.

“The concept goes beyond that of a supply chain to look at the retail system, and food’s wider impact on the quality of places, the environment and community life in both urban and rural areas.”

 

Whilst the research being heavily UK-focused, we believe that many people from different nations will benefit from reading this research, and using the associated Mapping guide. It has resonance here in New Zealand, and from all the people we’ve been speaking to around North America, Europe, Australia, The Pacific & Asia – we believe it will strike a chord there too.

 

This research was done by CPRE, but they’ve also released a Toolkit to help with local food web mapping in your area. You can take a look and download it for free.

As we mentioned earlier, there is also another element to any of these sorts of projects – networks are dynamic. Whilst the initial mapping project gives insights into the current state of play, it’s key to keep track of the evolutionary nature of a network/web, to continue to gain from these insights.

We’re very excited by a project by some friends in the UK called Sustaination, which aims to do just that – map the dynamic nature of food webs – kind of like a Linkedin for Local Food.  You can check out the project here – Sustaination : Local Food Everywhere – sign up for a profile today, and encourage other friends in your local food web to do the same, and start benefitting from the power of visualising your connections.

It’s a great example of how Technology can continue to support the fantastic work at the grassroots of the local food movement.

So, what are you waiting for? Get mapping today!

Bucky Box talks to Radio New Zealand’s Kim Hill

Listen to Bucky Box speak to Kim Hill on Radio New Zealand

Yesterday we were lucky enough to join the International Press Personality of the Year, Kim Hill, on her Saturday morning show.

 

We thought it would be wise to say congratulations for her recent award, so we took along a Box chocked full of lovely organic produce! We’re cursing ourselves for not taking a photo now – Kim looked very chuffed with the Jerusalem Artichoke & Garlic shoots particularly!

 

It was a fantastic opportunity to see behind the scenes of one of our nation’s most-listened to radio shows, and Mark (the fantastic producer of the show) let us know we’d be talking live to around 200’000 Kiwi’s just before going live. Thanks Mark.

 

Listen to Will & Sam talk about Food Distribution & Bucky Box on Saturday Morning with Kim Hill here:

 

You can see Kim Hill’s Saturday morning online here, and check them out on Twitter at @RNZ_SatMorning

A Creative Approach to Local Food advocacy : Lexicon of Sustainability

Check out the short films from the Lexicon of Sustainability about our food system

The importance of Storytelling cannot be underplayed.  Traditionally Big Ag have had the upper-hand in the attempt to capture people’s imaginations with their deep pockets.

 

The tide is turning. The cost to craft & create quality media is leveling the playing field, and the rise of the Social Web is making us more inquisitive about where our food comes from, who is behind it, and easier to communicate what we find.

 

Awhile ago we highlighted a few of our favourite Creative capturings of the local food movement which included the very awesome Lexicon of Sustainability’s photo series which is available to exhibit as an art show.  What we didn’t know at the time is they were also making a series of fantastic videos highlighting the truth behind Big Ag’s marketing.  Take a look at the first 3 videos of this series which is available on PBS’ Youtube Channel.

 

 

Once again, make sure you head over to Lexicon of Sustainability to find more about the food that we eat, and how it is produced.

Local Food Systems That Work : a National Good Food Network webinar

How can we accelerate learning and increase commerce in Local Food?

 

Check out our storify for a round up of the ‘Food Systems That Work’ webinar & full links to the recordings & slides, courtesy of the National Good Food Network:

 

 

[<a href=”http://storify.com/buckybox/ngfn-webinar-food-systems-networks-that-work-accel” target=”_blank”>View the story “NGFN Webinar Food Systems Networks That Work : Accelerating Learning & Increased Commerce” on Storify</a>]<br /> <h1>NGFN Webinar Food Systems Networks That Work : Accelerating Learning & Increased Commerce</h1> <h2>Bringing together conveners of food system networks of many different sizes: very local (a section of a state), to statewide, regional and even national. Each of these networks has amplified and abetted the positive triple bottom line effects of its member businesses and organizations.</h2> <p>Storified by Bucky Box · Sat, Sep 22 2012 23:47:37</p> <div>Interesting webinar coming up from @NGFN : "Food Systems Networks that Work" http://eepurl.com/pxgEL #foodtechFood+Tech Connect </div> <div>Don’t forget : Food Systems Networks That Work – Accelerating Learning and Increasing Commerce http://trib.al/TNQVe6 via @NGFN @BuckyEventsBucky Box</div> <div>NGFN Webinars — National Good Food NetworkOur monthly NGFN interactive webinars give you the opportunity to learn and connect with on-the-ground practitioners and experts. Below…</div> <div>Food Systems Networks that Work – the "how" and "why" of food systems networking NGFN Webinar TODAY! 3:30 ET, 12:30PT https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/853715690Natl Good Food Netwk</div> <div>Buckybox</div> <div>We’ll be tweeting live from our new Events-based Twitter feed today – @BuckyEvents!</div> <div>We’re ready & waiting for the @ngfn Webinar ‘Food Systems That Work’ – hope to see you there! http://bit.ly/PYhBEE #NGFNwebinar #FoodSystemBucky Box</div> <div>And we’re off! The @ngfn ‘Food Systems That Work’ webinar is up & running – Rich Pirog from @MichiganStateEU http://yfrog.com/hsy2bfpBucky Box Events</div> <div>A big welcome to the panelists for today:<br><b>Rich Pirog</b> (Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University), <b>Corry Bregendahl</b> (Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture), <b>Marty Gerencer</b> (Morse Communications) & <b>Karen Lehman</b> (Fresh Taste).</div> <div>The very knowledgeable panel of the #NGFNwebinar today. Q&A yielding some interesting insights – thanks @ngfn! http://yfrog.com/hwxxgepBucky Box Events</div> <div>"Value of Networks: Info & Knowledge Hubs, Catalysts for Cooperation, Leverage Funding, Cutting edge of Ideas & Innovation" #NGFNwebinarBucky Box Events</div> <div>"What’s in your network?" – would you describe it as Cooperative, Coordinating or Collaborative? #NGFNwebinar http://yfrog.com/oduo5gpBucky Box Events</div> <div>Great stories about Food & Fitness program in Iowa – Corry Bregendahl (Leopold Centre for Sustainable Ag) http://bit.ly/PEmH7d #NGFNwebinarBucky Box Events</div> <div>Solid Social, Health, Economic & Environmental outcomes from the Food & Fitness Program in #Iowa – #winwin – #NGFNWebinarBucky Box Events</div> <div>Great Lakes Food Hub Network began as a learning group; small parts, loosely joined http://bit.ly/PYtOcq #FoodHub #NGFNwebinarBucky Box Events</div> <div>Check out more about #FoodHubs at @ngfn’s online centre: http://bit.ly/PYuy1m #NGFNwebinar #collaborationBucky Box Events</div> <div>Food Hub Center – National Good Food NetworkA regional food hub is a business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of source-identified…</div> <div>Much of the discussion about Networks That Work relates well to our vision of Sustainable Food System http://bit.ly/PYvfrB #NGFNwebinarBucky Box Events</div> <div>Sustainable Food Summit – Vision of a Future Food System | The Bucky Box BlogThis blog was republished in part on Food+Tech Connect as ‘How Technology will decentralise the global food system’ and Sustaination’s "3…</div> <div>Great! Tackling Sustainability of Networks: Pork producers do % of sales to Network, is something similar poss for Fruit & Veg? #NGFNwebinarBucky Box Events</div> <div>"You cannot legislate an ethic of sharing" – Great Lakes Food Hub began with trust & social capital, + some Vermont inspiration #NGFNwebinarBucky Box Events</div> <div>GLFH also had inspiration from #Mondragon, Co-ops, & ‘Town that food saved’ http://bit.ly/PYxgUx #NGFNwebinar #collaboration #localfoodBucky Box Events</div> <div>IntroductionIntroduction</div> <div>Learning is central to the idea of network building. Karen Lehman suggests using #openspace to build commitment & co-creativity #NGFNwebinarBucky Box Events</div> <div>Using #OpenSpace to run a collaborative meeting; links here: http://bit.ly/3Zu422 also check out emerging @CollabCafe #NGFNwebinarBucky Box Events</div> <div>Open Space TechnologyOpen Space Technology In my experience open space is based on the belief that we humans are intelligent, creative, adaptive, meaning- and…</div> <div>#NGFNwebinar : 2 different approaches to Communications & Network building: 1) Almost fully offline, 2) Using webinars & some socialBucky Box Events</div> <div>We’ve got a #socialmedia for Local Food guide for you http://trib.al/KiyvYY #helpguideBucky Box</div> <div>TY @ngfn for the #FoodSystems webinar – some nuggets of interest there, lets keep the conversation going online! Suggest a #? #NGFNwebinarBucky Box Events</div> <div>#NGFNwebinar Lots of great info about food system networks that work!Bakari McC</div> <div><b>You can now find the fill slides, video & webinar details here:</b></div> <div>Food Systems Networks That Work – Accelerating Learning and Increasing Commerce – National Good Food NetworkWe bring together conveners of food systems networks of many different sizes. Each has amplified and abetted the positive triple bottom l…</div> <div>Food Systems Networks That Work – Accelerating Learning and Increasing Commerce – an NGFN webinarwallacecenter</div> <div>Follow future events here:</div> <div>NGFN Webinars — National Good Food NetworkOur monthly NGFN interactive webinars give you the opportunity to learn and connect with on-the-ground practitioners and experts. Below…</div>

Top 5 ways to find more customers : an overview of local food marketing guides

Have you ever wondered ‘how & where will I get more customers?’

 

We’ve been asked the question a fair bit recently by people & organisations around the world who are distributing food locally.  What with tough harvests in the UK, the supermarket price wars in Australia, the food stores the size of small towns in the US, austerity measures in Europe, and the gradual rising awareness of the benefits of local food in New Zealand – it can be tough to find new customers.

 

We decided to pull together our own e-book on this topic, but in the meantime, here’s a couple of sites which could be useful to get you started.

  1. Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) – as part of the ‘Be A Local Hero’ program, have developed a Marketing 101 for farmers and local food distributors. You’ll find a link to a PDF download – it’s a fairly in-depth guide to everything from establishing a brand, to working out new channels for your business.
  2. Making Local Food Work – a series of guides & toolkits for a wide variety of local food distribution models, developed to help you get started & get ahead.
  3. National Good Food Network – a database of research into business & finance behind local food distribution & farming.
  4. Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture – a solid guide for small farmers and distributors as to why & how to market locally.
  5. Lean Marketing – taking a somewhat different approach to marketing, this blog post advocates lean marketing – staying away from heavyweight strategic planning, testing ideas in small batches, and learning quickly.

 

Social Enterprise London (SEL) – many local food distributors are looking for triple-bottom line impact, and could benefit from the great resources that SEL create. Whilst not specifically focused on local food, they do have some good guides to smaller, more impactful business.

 

If you’re particularly interested in the USDA Marketing Manual – we’ve also uploaded here: USDA Marketing Manual 2012

 

We’d love to hear your thoughts & feedback on what’s worked and what’s not, to help build a guide for local food to build the movement around the world.  You can tweet us at @buckybox, or get in touch through Facebook.

Production, Distribution & Waste – Challenging Industrial Agriculture

 

Recently we’ve heard the same old arguments being pumped out by industrial agriculture, especially in reaction to the droughts in the US.

 

The argument goes: “There’s almost 7 billion people on Earth, and there’s 1 billion hungry. We need more food to feed the world. We must intensify agriculture; bigger & better, and we’ve got the answer – we call it a Sustainable Agriculture”.  That ‘Sustainable Agriculture future’ is typically large-scale intensive agriculture, GMO, and more sophisticated ‘scientific’ farming methods.  Inevitably the cost of this agriculture is greater, and farmers must have all of the latest information, tools, machinery & chemicals to make it happen.  It also, coincidentally, means greater profits for the big boys of industrial agriculture (rather than farmers).

 

There’s an assumption in there that needs testing: “We need more food to feed the world”.  It’s so often taken as a given, but there significant research which suggests otherwise.

 

We grow enough food to feed 10 billion people already. Eric Holt-Giménez recently wrote a fantastic rebuttal of the industrial agriculture view on the future of food. The first part of his argument centres around the point that Hunger is not caused by scarcity, but by poverty – that is what needs to be tackled to feed the hungry people in the world, not more food.  It follows on to show that Industrial Ag Vs Natural Farming does not represent the gaps in yields that are constantly talked about by GMO advocates. The longest running study (Rodale Institute – 47 year study) shows that Organic farming has better yields & profits, whilst requiring lower energy inputs & causing lower greenhouse gas outputs.

 

We Already Grow Enough Food - Infographic - Challenging Industrial Agriculture

 

The UN have put out several studies on Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture which do not support the Industrial Ag spin. They don’t stand to create vast profits from their view, but they do expect to see greater advances in sustainable development & poverty alleviation through more agriculture shifting to small-scale agroecological production. There also are gains in climate resilience and energy reduction from adopting farming based on ecological systems.

 

A 2011 report on Food Waste by the Food & Agriculture Organisation (PDF) suggests 1/3 of global food production is wasted through the supply chain or pre/post consumption. This food waste infographic featured on Food+Tech Connect supports this argument, showing it’s as high as 40% in the US.

 

It’s clear to see there’s significant work that needs to be addressed on the Consumer side of things, but this also supports our assertion that a big change needs to happen upstream.  If food distribution were to change from the centralised, industrial model that accounts for 99% of our food system, to local food webs, then we have the opportunity to disrupt the food waste in this area of the chain too.

 

The world has changed since our food system was invented – the information & web revolution has made new things possible – aggregation of supply & demand through web-based tools is just one of them.  We built Bucky Box for many reasons, one of which indicates the potential for decentralised food systems & local food webs to be more efficient than Industrialised Ag.  By re-localising food distribution with these new tools, we can efficiently move food from farm to fork with minimal wastage, instead of farm to landfill.

 

The time has come for a revolution in our food system.  It may be a quiet revolution which sees individuals consciously choosing to buy local, for small-scale farming to make a wholesale return, and for more-than-profit food distribution to rise, powered by a wave of digital tools for a better food system.