Powering Local Food

Bucky Box - powering local food

The Bucky Box team are committed to using our energy on the most important challenge of our lifetimes.

 

 

There’s no shortage of projects, initiatives and causes where you could focus your energy these days – everywhere you look there’s industrial age systems and institutions which are crumbling.

 

In the 20th century we saw a huge focus on food production as a key to food utopia for all. With a growing population (4.4 billion to 6.1 billion between 1980-2000), some would say that was rather wise. Whilst we’ve boomed to 7 billion people and are forecast to hit 9-10 billion by 2020, we have to ask – at what cost has that focus on production had?

 

The existing food distribution infrastructure is incompatible with what we now know about the ecological and societal limits of agriculture – it’s time to roll up our sleeves and do something about it – that’s why we’re committed to powering the future of food.

 

We see food distribution as an acupuncture point in the food system – use the needle correctly and it can release a build up of pressure. Bucky Box is that needle – it’s a tool for entrepreneurs, community activators, and ethical businesses who are creating a better food system through local food enterprise.

 

We see building software for local food distributors to crush the admin burden as incredibly important – with only a small amount of talking to people running direct-to-customer delivery businesses, you’ll soon start hearing horror stories about hacked together IT systems and death-by-spreadsheet. Taking a hammer to this glass ceiling for local food enterprise is our aim.

 

Bucky Box - Powering Local Food

 

How does Bucky Box help with all this?

 

Sell Your Food

Customise and launch your online store in minutes and never drop a sale. An online store that syncs directly with your admin dashboard so you don’t have to manually pull in all those pesky email order notifications from your shopping cart. Our online store is designed from the ground-up for food businesses to engage their customers.

Bucky Box - Online Store Shopping Cart - Local Food Software

 

Manage Customers

Take the pain out of customer management with our admin console. Get a customer snapshot any time with profiles, account balances and order statuses. Nurture loyal customers with newsletters and direct email straight from your database. Be open 24/7 – customers can manage their own orders online, whatever time of the day.

Bucky Box - Easy Customer Contact and Management for Vege Box Schemes CSA and Local Food enterprises

 

Fulfill Orders

Instantly know what needs to go where, and when. Take the heavy lifting out of packing day admin with one click reports. A drag & drop interface makes delivery route planning easy.

Packing and Delivery reporting for Local Food delivery businesses

 

Easy Payments
Save time and stop trying to manually match accounts with our bulk payment reconciliation of bank transactions, cash & cheques. Ensure account balances are up to date, and your customers are happy.

Bulk Payment Reconciliation for Food Delivery Businesses

 

Interested to hear more and get to work?

[button link=”http://www.buckybox.com” target=”_blank” color=”green” shape=”rounded” size=”large” align=”center”]Sign up for a demo[/button]

 

 

The Local Food Startup Challenge, thus far

Local Food Startup Challenge Fruit

We’ve been having a great time hearing from people around the world who are keen to start Local Food enterprises, continuing to build partnerships (more on that soon), and seeing how we can help catalyse local food, globally.

 

Here’s a quick Storify run down of the activity online, thus far:

 

 

[View the story “The Local Food Startup Challenge” on Storify]

The Local Food Startup Challenge

Back in February, Bucky Box launched a ground breaking Global Startup Fund of $500k.The fund aims to support early stage businesses and entrepreneurs, and challenges them to get their local food business off the ground and operating in 3 months with the help of Bucky Box and their Partners.

Storified by Bucky Box· Mon, Mar 25 2013 19:45:39

Locavored
Our good friends at Unlimited Magazine get the lowdown on the almost-launched Local Food Startup Challenge, and the word gets out.
Bucky Box fuels food distribution | Stuff.co.nzJan 29, 2013 … The challenge also offers the startup an e-book, How to Run a Local Food Enterprise, and a small business support pack…

The Challenge is officially launched

Announcing The Local Food Startup Challenge | The Bucky Box BlogFeb 5, 2013 … We're launching a challenge to get Local Food Distributors started & successful around the world. The Local Foo…
Have you heard about the Local Food Startup Challenge yet? Grow your Food Biz in 3 months with a slice of $500k! http://t.co/BpjAJbiG0ABucky Box

Check out the animation explaining the Challenge

The Local Food Startup Challengeb0wQoNK_fNEo46EbqlYkEA

$500k Global Startup Fund Announced

$500k Startup Fund announced for Local Food Businesses | Scoop News500k Startup Fund announced for Local Food Businesses 11 February 2013 Bucky Box, a software company based in Wellington, have announced …

The Reaction on Social Networks & in the Media follows…

software to help run fruit & veg box schemes @buckybox #socialenterprise #firstworldsolutions #goodstuff via @sustainationSarah Cary
Get on it! RT @samrye_enspiral: #agchatoz #sustag Announcing The Local Food Startup Challenge http://t.co/RtxVzpUV #socent #foodCameron Neil
Buckybox
Challenge Sign Up | The Local Food Startup Challenge http://t.co/AAqDl3ux via @buckybox – This is a fantastic idea/opportunity, thank youFoodStory
Global #StartupChallenge launched by @buckybox to catalyse local food systems around the world: http://t.co/8On8Ipz3The Food Lab
Wan’t to start up your own local food biz? $500K Local Food Startup Challenge – add a little rocket fuel to your idea: http://t.co/7XFnxVYZDoing Something Good
Are you a new local food producer/distributor or would you like to be? Get a jump start with this Local Food… http://t.co/kicD8nSnSustainability Trust
Entrepreneurial? Enter the global Local Food Start-up Challenge by @enspiral http://t.co/xERWSOwF /with free software & supportMeena Kadri
Wan’t to start up… | FacebookDoing Something Good wrote: Wan’t to start up your own local food… Join Facebook to connect with Doing Something Good and others you ma…
Idealog
Eco-Entrepreneurs – it’s time for action: The Local Food Startup Challenge has launched!: http://t.co/jxrsDn4FSam Rye
Entrepreneurial fans of our Local Food Challenge should check this opportunity to kickstart their enterprise: http://t.co/sx80ZlafOpenIDEO
$500k Startup Fund launched for Local Food Businesses! http://t.co/F83CdWMp #startupchallenge #socentUnreasonable Team
Buckybox
MT @theyoufinder #sustainablefood $500k Startup Fund launched for Local Food Businesses http://t.co/DXYlsalw #socentHub Bay Area
Just launched: Local Food Startup Challenge – Free Software + Support! http://t.co/YaLbMdzd @buckybox #startupchallenge #locavoreLocavore News
Can’t wait to start making deliveries using @buckybox. Never would have found them without help from @SocialTradersAU – Thanks from #torontoFoodStory
Global #StartupChallenge launched by @buckybox to catalyse local #food systems around the world: http://t.co/mkSHc9oghz @BuckyFullerInstAnandi A. Premlall
Local Food Startup Challenge | The Locavore EditionMar 5, 2013 … So the Local Food Startup Challenge was created, with funds and business savvy to kickstart new businesses that are bui…
Are you a local food hero with a new business? Check out Bucky Box and their $500k startup fund. http://t.co/IEyuq1HcegSustainability Trust
Bucky Box puts up $500K Startup fund to kickstart your local #foodtech #foodstartup biz: http://t.co/NByR911GYrLocal Food Lab
Bucky Box paves the way for local food startups :: Idealog :: the …Mar 11, 2013 … That's why this year Bucky Box launched the Local Food Startup Challenge. After speaking to a couple of hundred lo…
Very cool example of keeping it local in NZ. Bucky Box paves the way for local food startups http://t.co/Wp1NFyIScRTeri Sawers
Looking for help to eat local? Local Food Startup Challenge – Get Support to Start a Vege Box Scheme-Social Traders http://t.co/8EKH4aKPyuJane@MOK
Keeping it close to home: @BuckyBox paves the way for local food startups. http://t.co/w0GAtzZQ3gIdealog Sustain
Are you considering starting a CSA for you farm fresh foods? – Bucky Box Start Up Challenge http://t.co/tdRTmmonM8 #farm #csa #organicorganic oren
Planning to build a new local food enterprise? Check out the great Local Food Startup Challenge http://t.co/1kkW7rNOoT @samrye_enspiralCheryl Reynolds
RT @buckybox: We Good Neighbour | Local Food Startup Challenge entrant launches http://t.co/c6qd6NXIs7 #startupchallengeSeb Paquet
Local Food Startup ChallengeCheck this out on f6s. Kickstart your Local Food Biz – add a little rocket fuel to your business Bucky Box has put up a $500k startup fun…
@buckybox are looking for entrepreneurs interested in creating a better food system http://t.co/joyfpncAJNSusFoodTrust
Resource of the week: The Local Food Startup Challenge …Mar 15, 2013 … They're already working on the digital infrastructure to enable local food distribution, and recently launched the…
Planning to build a new local food enterprise? Check out the great Local Food Startup Challenge http://t.co/1kkW7rNOoT @samrye_enspiralCheryl Reynolds
#Startup #idea to support local farmers & get quality food to people in your area? Sign up for the buckybox challenge http://t.co/dr5oP7ZwymSustaination
Bucky Box paves the way for local food startups, @idealogmag: http://t.co/A1A5vHfreT what a lovely idealouis gordon green
Amazing morning bump in interest in our #startupchallenge care of @Occupy_Monsanto – power to the people! http://t.co/hlxImnyBtyBucky Box
@buckybox just signed up for the #StartupChallenge-Can’t wait to see what you’ve built to help farmers profitably distribute locallyBagEndFarms
Planning to build a new local food enterprise? Check out the great Local Food Startup Challenge from @buckybox http://t.co/nURLiuT64iLocal Food Network
Software + Support = Your Business -> Get Involved with the #StartupChallenge here http://t.co/5uFeYySd5G #foodBucky Box
Aspiring food entrepreneurs can apply for funding and advice from the Local Food Startup Challenge http://t.co/joyfpncAJN @buckyboxSusFoodTrust
Global #StartupChallenge launched by @buckybox to catalyse local food systems around the world: http://t.co/gSUFNKXvifSinglebrook
starting a local food biz, Vege Box Scheme, CSA or Food Hub & in your 1st year? Local Food Startup Challenge is ON! http://t.co/S9bHknMQXiAnake Goodall
Startup Challenge Spotlight : ‘Good Neighbour’ Launches in New Zealand | The Bucky Box BlogWe’re delighted to announce one of the first Local Food Startup Challenge entrants has just launched! Good Neighbour brings good food to …
Startup Challenge Team Launches Food BusinessThe enterprising charitable NGO has launched a food delivery service off the back of the Local Food Startup Challenge (http://challenge.b…
Local Food Startup Challenge: Catalyzing Local Food Distribution, Globally, by @buckybox #sustainability #socent http://t.co/a4FVtsAaTKChris Sequeira

Featured on New Startups : Bucky Box helps farmers get fresh food on your plate

Bucky Box Features on New Startups

 

 

Shortly after our public beta release there was a flurry of interest and articles, but we were a little crazy with speaking to people about our software for local food.

 

In that time, the awesome New Startups online magazine covered our story, and we’ve never had the chance to point people their way till now. So, check out New Startups – they ‘collect a wide range of bright new ideas from around the globe with the intents of keeping you up to date on incredible emerging businesses, offering our reviews, and providing a place to meet & engage in discussions.’

 

READ THE BUCKY BOX STORY ON NEW STARTUPS

 

“It’s astonishing how much of our everyday uses are highly dependent on cheap oil. The food systems in our culture are without exception, and evolved over the last 30 years that is also centralized and fragile. More so then ever we face obstacles and challenges never seen before and will only be more overwhelming in the next 30 years without startups standing up and making new technologies to help, in relation to energy prices, population increase and environmental health.” READ MORE HERE

 

5 Most Innovative Use of Direct-to-Consumer Models

screenshot from craft coffee

screenshot from craft coffee

We like this ‘new breed’ as they’re doing something a little different. They’re taking the regular products you might find in a supermarket or can’t be found in stores at all, and they’re changing the model of distribution so that they don’t have the overheads of brick & mortar retail and operating an enterprise that can be run from almost anywhere. Kinda like the local food distributors around the world.

 

Lets take a look at a few which are breaking the mould, which might inspire some ideas about new models for local food.

 

Kiwi Crate

Sick of trawling the aisles of big box warehouses stacked from floor to ceiling with colourful noisy toys? Kiwi Crate (based in the US) offer a subscription service which is a crafted offering unique to their platform. They have parents, educational advisors and  kids to test it all out. It comes to you direct in the post, and they charge monthly. And they have a cute logo 🙂

Kiwi Crate Monthly Subscription Services

 

Blissmobox

Want to try some new and exciting goodies? Prefer they were organic, eco-friendly and non-toxic? US-based Blissmobox has been pioneering the curated box market for awhile now, and winning awards at the same time.

Blissmobox Monthly Subscription Box Service Organic Eco-friendly Non-toxic

 

BarkBox

This service may take the cake for the cutest around. Subscribe for a monthly fee, tell them the size of your Pups and they will send goodies for your woofers each month. Awesome.

BarkBox Monthly Subscription for Dogs

 

Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club are taking on the big boys with their cut price offering, and man-centric videos. It’s intriguing that after decades of ‘personal care’ companies building up their brands, spending millions on advertising, and developing close relationships with the big name supermarkets – a cheeky upstart like Dollar Shave Club can come along and start taking their market. We’ll let them tell you why they’re so great…

 

Turn Table Kitchen

An award must go to Turn Table Kitchen for the quirky and unexpected, we think. This Canadian subscription model curates a selection of vinyl and food each month, direct to your door.

Turntable Kitchen Monthly Subscription Music + Food

 

Great! So you’ve spoken to an “e-commerce guru” and they’ve set up a shopping cart for you, and now the orders are rolling in! Now what?

 

Oh yeah, you need to keep track of your customers, their details, their orders, their changes, their preferences, and their payments. Then you just need to work out where all those orders are going, which day, which address, what’s in the boxes, whether there’s any changes, and add a sprinkle of customer service love. Then it’s a matter of sending your delivery drivers out or working with a ‘trusty courier’ to get them, in good condition, to all your customers. Then just reconcile all the $40 payments to each of your customers. Breathe. Now whilst you deserve a cuppa, you’ve got all the other things to do to grow your business still.

 

… and right there, that’s why we built Bucky Box.

 

There’s more to service model business than simply a shopping cart – hopefully you understand the admin that it takes to run a business like this. But don’t be down hearted! We took the admin stress away so you can concentrate on building your business and keeping people happy….. and we give you a shopping cart for free.

-> Tweet This Story <-

Trends for 2013 for the Local Food Movement

Bucky Box brings you top 5 tips for trends in Local Food in 2013

Where are the big trends of 2012 going to lead the local food movement in 2013?

 

TWEET THESE TRENDS

 

It takes a lot of research and conversations to fine tune software for the local food movement, so we’ve spent much of the past year doing just that – in the course of our endeavours we have probably spoken with over 300 food distributors, a plethora of small farmers, a large number of business people & academics looking at food systems, and read one or two articles about where the food movement has come from and is headed. So here’s our thoughts on the spaces to watch in 2013.

 

Big Data 

The rise of the internet, smartphones, tablets, and affordable technology around the world has meant that we are producing more data on our lives and all the elements which make up our society, culture and environment than ever before. In fact 90% of the world’s data was created in the last 2 years. [tweet this]

 

What does this mean? With much richer background data, analysis could reap some huge rewards in terms of insights for the local food movement.

 

Generating data on food purchases, prices, food source, distance travelled, and consumer purchasing decisions, among other things, could yield some interesting insights. What would you want to know?

 

Platforms like Sustaination, Real Time Farms, and Local Harvest are all taking advantage of the ability to quickly and easily map food enterprises – imagine if they were also then capturing what was happening at those enterprises, and opening the data for other people to work with. Thanks to innovative Kiwi company Conscious Consumers, we may soon have rich consumer purchase data thanks to a mobile app they’re soon to release. There’s also data being collected increasingly by organisations such as Grameen Bank on agriculture & food projects they’re involved in which are building the picture of the food system in developing nations.

 

Transparency & Traceability

There’s rising distaste amongst consumers for the industrial food menu. Whilst fats, sugars & salts have become the staple fare on our supermarket shelves over the last 30 years, so we have seen corresponding rises in the level of health problems around the world.

 

Consumers are increasingly aware that we cannot trust big corporates to have our best interests at heart (instead of just having an eye on the rising profits), and are taking matters into our own hands as technology begins to answer the challenge by raising the levels of transparency & traceability of our food – a trend which is also highlighted by Forbes. Traceability is also explained here in ICT in Agriculture.

 

Whatever your interests or ethics, most people at least want the choice to know what’s in their food and where it’s from [tweet this] (unless you’re part of the 51.5% of voters in California who voted ‘No’ to Prop 37 – amazing what $45m in TV advertising can do for big food!).  Traceability and transparency can deliver that information about where our food is from, how far it has travelled, how it is grown, produced & reared, and make sense of nutritional statistics to show us what the likely impact on our long term health would be should we eat it regularly – after all, a label which simply reads “Fresh” isn’t much help to anyone.

 

Mobile devices are bringing information to the fingertips at the point of purchase, so despite big corporate interests in our food system opting out of voluntary food labelling, there will be increasing demand from consumers for the information and everyone from tech companies to real food advocates to ensure people at least have the basic information to make informed decisions. As a food producer or farmer, this is an excellent opportunity to use the rise of awareness of consumers to keep food simple, clean, wholesome & nutritious and tell this story about your food to show the difference between yours and the processed, heavily treated/preserved food on the shelves of many supermarkets – it’s a recognised trend in the hospitality industry too.

 

Collaboration

Collaboration is the new black.

 

As pressures on our food system rise, we will be forced to do more with less. We face unprecedented challenges which require innovative, connected solutions, whether it’s the need for a shift to low energy agriculture, our rising global population, a health burden of rising obesity, hunger, malnutrition, wild weather events due to climate change, a global food waste scandal, the disappearance of the small farm, a missing generation of young farmers coming through, or losing the quality of our soils, our water & our air.

 

Whilst the trend for household spending on food is decreasing across developed nations, there is a rising willingness in hundreds of thousands of people to create a better food system by bringing traditionally divergent actors in our food system together to work more closely.

 

Traditionally software developers, graphic designers and farmers haven’t had a huge amount to do with one another, but now with projects such as Food+Tech Connect’s “Hack Meat” project, or Forum for the Future’s Wired4Food series they’re increasingly getting together in cross-sectoral collaborations and ‘hackathons’ to address issues which only multi-lens approaches and skill sets can solve. This is a symptom of wider collaborative approaches by private, public and community sector organisations around the world, to tackle big challenges with fresh thinking such as Kiva’s efforts to take an holistic approach to aid, development and agriculture.

 

Designing for the 90%

The rise of social enterprise (that is: mission-driven businesses focused on social & environmental challenges) around the world shows the growing appetite to make meaningful change to the lives of all, not just improve the lives of the 10% of the world which controls 93% of the wealth [tweet this].

 

With quotes like “inequality anywhere is a threat to equality everywhere” ringing in our ears, individuals, social enterprises and even some progressive corporates are throwing off the shackles of thinking philanthropy-alone-will-save-the-world and embracing market-based solutions to create genuine long lasting & sustainable change. Projects such as South Africa’s Foodpods deliver entrepreneurship & small business training, as well as quality small-scale agriculture infrastructure for its franchisee’s. Or, take d.light’s solar lamps which were designed for the developing nations to improve health, education & provide the opportunity for additional income-generating opportunities in the extended hours of light in Atauro.

 

Design for the 90% is an exciting trend to the team at Bucky Box, as we view ourselves as part of the movement which is aiming to make our product affordable to developing nations through innovative GDP-adjusted pricing, as well as focusing the redistribution of 67% of our profits back into improving global food systems [tweet this].

 

Distribution

Most of the last 50 years have been spent improving yields and efficiencies in food production; despite some advancements we still have many challenges – increasing numbers of people hungry (1 billion), a drastic rise in obesity, food price hikes, a population disconnected from their food, and huge flow-on effects into our societies.

 

Recently, speaking with the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, we came to the conclusion that the global discussion about ‘Food Utopia’ will rapidly shift focus from Supply to Distribution [tweet this], and we believe the time is nigh in 2013.

 

The ideas that have been promulgated for the last 50 years by industrial food companies have led us to a fundamentally unsustainable food system where our reliance on oil means that we are putting 10 calories into our food system for every 1 calorie we get out. We’re losing the health of our soils due to chemical farming techniques, and whilst we’re growing enough food to feed 10 billion, we’re wasting 30% of it – something has to change soon.

 

 

2013 may herald the shift in focus from supply to distribution, and from centralised control of our food system, to decentralised food distribution through an advancement in technology, cultural education and willingness, and a rising awareness of the pressing environmental need to change the way we grow, distribute, consume & dispose of our food.

 

We see a more complex, yet more efficient future of food distribution, with a host of smaller distributors operating a variety of models – be they vege box schemes, community supported agriculture, corporate wellness programs, game-driven health schemes, or whatever other weird & wonderful ideas entrepreneurs put forth. Driven by new & improved enterprise-grade software to rival that of the industrial agriculture system – these entrepreneurial distributors will change the balance of power in our food system and ultimately, create a better food system for everyone.

 

We can see it coming, and we look forward to 2013 because of it.

 

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.
– Rumi

 

Tools for Local Food Distribution – designed for the other 90%

What would happen to food distribution if you provided enterprise-quality tools to the 90% of enterprises who can’t normally afford them?

[click to tweet this article]

 

Bucky Box designs for the other 90%

A little over a year ago, we posed ourselves that question. It was an interesting challenge – one of turning the problem that most local food distributors have on its head.

 

By now, most of us are aware that local food distribution has a glass ceiling – it’s about 70-80 deliveries per week where the admin burden really kicks in and stifles growth. [tweet this]

 

There’s just too much complexity to handle with spreadsheets and hacked together systems when you hit this number – you’re bound to start making errors – whether it’s making sure someone’s paid their bill, that one of the boxes should’ve had artichokes instead of carrots, or that Bob & Karen had just moved house. You know – that bit of information you scribbled on a sticky note and pinned to the wall?

 

So, the glass ceiling is really the automation of those labour intensive admin tasks – packing sheets, customer ledgers, delivery reconciliation and matching up payments.  Take away that glass ceiling, and we know that many local food schemes can grow, get more quality & healthy food to people, and be more profitable. We know this from the handful of schemes who have invested heavily in their technology and grown accordingly.

 

Back to the question – how can we change the game? How can we get more local food distribution businesses operating, serving different markets & communities, providing more demand for small farms & artisan producers? How can we shift the needle on the destructive nature of industrialised food systems? How can we bring back the food webs that existed pre-industrial food distribution? Lets call that our vision of the Food Web 2.0.

 

The answer is not simple, but it’s the challenge that we took on. It’s the challenge that we have spent well over a year working on in various forms, and it’s the challenge that we’ve got our first solution to. Bucky Box is about bringing those tools to the masses, to the other 90% – to anyone who wants to start up a food distribution business [tweet], whether it’s 20 people in their local office, 200 people at their local church, or 2000 people in their community. Simple to use. Affordable. Ready to go.

 

[click to tweet]

We’ve got some exciting news in the pipeline to get a little bit of a buzz going around Local Food distribution, as we genuinely believe decentalising food distribution is one of the most exciting challenges & opportunities in c21st. <- [tweet].

 

It’s the forefront of enabling regenerative agriculture, improving the health of ourselves and our communities, and of lifting people around the world out of poverty. <- [tweet]

 

If any of what we’ve said rings true, and you’re thinking about starting a local food enterprise, or doing what you already do – better, then drop by the Bucky Box – Software for Local Food website and sign up for a trial or just tweet us for a chat.

 

We’re looking forward to supporting you to create a better food system.

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!