Our new website is LIVE!

Check out our new website!

Have you swung by our home page recently and noticed a bit of a change?

 

That’s right! Our new website is now live with much more information about our software for local food distribution.  You can take a virtual tour of the app which is still in private beta, but soon to be available as a public beta (more news coming soon on that!), plus there’s also information on our beta pricing, and our social enterprise mission tops off the party at the bottom of the page.

 

We’d really love to hear your feedback – drop us a tweet!

Revista Pequenas Empresas & Grandes Negócios feature Bucky Box – Splashdown in Brazil!

Brazilian Business Magazine features Kiwi Local Food Startup!

We knew something was up when our beta channel started seeing several Brazilian requests for our beta service.  A little investigating today showed us that not only were we featured in ‘Springwise : Online Startup Network‘ this week, but our social enterprise software for local food distribution was also featured in Revista Pequenas Empresas & Grandes Negócios – the go-to Brazilian magazine for small & medium business, entrepreneurship & more!

 

Easy to use software created by the company help automate billing data transport and logistics, addition of production. With this, Bucky Box hopes to boost decentralized food system – small farms organic food in particular. In the company’s website, owners can manage the company, reducing the time spent on administration to a maximum of two hours weekly.

 

So, a big thanks to our new favourite Brazilian magazine – Revista Pequenas Empresas & Grandes Negócios! It’s not every day a Kiwi startup gets featured in a major international publication – but we’re very thankful to have been featured in quite a few at this point.

 

We look forward to working with some Brazilian local food schemes in the future! Roll on the decentralized food system!

Sustainable Food Summit – Vision of a Future Food System

*This blog was republished in part on Food+Tech Connect as ‘How Technology will decentralise the global food system’, Fair Food Network and Sustaination’s “3rd Industrial Revolution”.

 

How do we create a food system which is sustainable in the face of growing population pressures, changing weather patterns, declining natural resources, and a sharp decline in soil health?

A summit to co-create the future of the food system in Australia, and indeed around the world

This is one of the questions we held, when we recently headed to the shores of Australia to attend the National Sustainable Food Summit in Sydney, to hang out with some of the visionaries who are engaged in the dialogue of how the future of Australia’s food system will play out.

 

The summit was re-convened after last year’s successful meeting which brought people from around the country to listen to key note speakers, and engage in workshop sessions to talk about & co-create the future.

 

Several of the attendees were live tweeting the event on the hashtag #FoodSummit & #SFS12, and a Storify was being built as the event progressed: you can check it out here.

 

Asides from the fascinating conversations, great connections & pretty tasty conference food, there was a fair few insights into where the food system would be moving over the course of the next 20 years or so, and it’s our recollection of these insights we want to try and capture for you:

  • The food system, much like other industries around the world, is one of the next major industries that will become decentralised thanks to the web, peer-to-peer trading, and as a response to 30 years of legacy which has served financial interest more than the people & planet it relies upon.
  • A flexible, resilient & sustainable food system is already emerging, and with software & other food tech as a catalyst, is going to emerge even more rapidly. It will form a meshed web reaching around the world, of localised food systems within a bigger global food system.
  • The food system of the future will be complex – made up of traditional agriculture, urban agriculture, small-scale farms, bio-domes, vertical growing spaces, hydroponics, backyard gardening, community gardening, and more.
  • Organic Farming can feed 10 billion people, and small-scale sustainable agriculture is the way it will happen. Several recent reports, including one from the UN Special Rapporteur have identified this, and there is a growing focus on ecological / biological farming methods.
  • We will have to shift from the 99% industrialized food system we currently have globally, as resource pressures (peak oil & the likes) will mean current techniques will continue to push the cost of food up.  The transition may not be easy for all concerned, those with vested interests in keeping the status quo are likely to resist, but they will be swept away if they do not change (see changes in Music Industry!).
  • Huge advancements can be made as we shift to a decentralized food system, especially in the area of food & resource waste, which accounts for the main reason for current artificially high prices.  In 2010 we produced enough food to feed c.12 billion people, we just wasted a large portion of it.
  • Remove the ‘squeeze’ caused by the Food Distribution ‘profit centre’, and we will ease the financial, environmental & social strain currently put on food production & consumption.
  • Local & Regional food economies will be rejuvenated with a new set of values based on more than profit, beginning with the foundations that People & Planet should be at the centre of the food system, with Money/Profit playing the role of social exchange lubricant rather than sole economic measurement.
  • The emergence of vege box schemes, CSA’s, co-ops, buying groups & food hubs are all proving the future path of the food system right now. Software is a major lever of change to catalyse these forms of enterprise.
  • More farmers will be needed and more small-scale distributors.
  • The future food system will have a much greater transparency & traceability from Farm to Fork, enabled by food tech.

There were of course many many more, but these are some of the strongest trends that we heard at the conference.

 

The early keynote by Jeremy Rifkin was one of the talks which set a lot of the context for the conference, and whilst it’s fairly lengthy – there’s some great insights into economic trends which are worth a watch.

Take a look at more of the notes, podcasts, videos & other Food Summit resources collated by the 3 Pillars Network.

 

The summit felt like a positive reinforcement for a project we’ve already committed to, a great learning experience to push the boundaries of our knowledge, and a great opportunity to share space with so many other who had a similar vision of a decentralised food system.  We’re really excited by some of the projects which are happening around Australia, and indeed around the world as we speak – one of the blogs which we follow regularly is Food+Tech Connect which showcases some of the most exciting Food Tech projects in the States (and a few like us, outside). Make sure you read the ‘Hacking The Food System’ articles.

 

We recently spoke at the Changemakers Convention in Christchurch, New Zealand, where people from around the country outlined their passions, visions & actions in their chosen area of interest.  We spoke about “Food Security & Resilience in an Uncertain Future”, which led us to deliver a ‘state of the nation’ of how our food system currently teeters, some examples of food system fragility (largely taken from our blog about disasters & resilience), and the bright future that is emerging with technology enabling new ways for our food system to thrive.

 

For now, it’s back to work on supporting our fantastic beta customers, and spreading the word to more local food distributors who might make use of our system – please feel free to share with your networks if you might know someone who would like to change the food system for the better!

Mapping a peer-to-peer food system of the future

FastCoExist “World Changing Ideas & Innovation” features Bucky Box

Things are a’bubble here in the office in Wellington this morning as the Fast Company article on Bucky Box went live last night.

Fast-Company magazine's blog FastCoExist which features 'World Changing Ideas & Innovation' features Bucky BoxWe arrived at work to find the twitter feed was ticking over happily with RT of the FastCoExist piece on Bucky Box’s software for a better food system.

 

FastCoExist is one of our favourite reads. It provides daily news on ‘World Changing Ideas & Innovation’, many of them businesses working for a better world.  It’s a great feeling to be part of that club.

 

Bucky Box is working on the new operating system for emerging local food systems. We’re open for beta testing in invite-only form. Feel free to share the word to local food distributors you think might be interested.

Creating the operating system for a new emerging local food system - Bucky BoxCreating the new operating system for local food isn’t just about supporting what’s going out in the market, it goes much bigger & broader than that, it reaches into the future.  We see what has happened in the last 30-40 years in our global food systems as a step backwards in environmental & social standards which have borrowed from our future. We’ve created a more fragile food system with less resilience, and now the pressures are beginning to mount up : population growth, soil health, water quality, climate change adaptation, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functions which are vital to our survival.  All the research points toward moving to sustainable food production, distribution & consumption, which largely means small scale farms (not industrial-scale mono-cropping), regenerative farming techniques (not chemical farming which destroys our soils) and regional food systems (not industrialized supply chains).  We see a better way, and Bucky Box is our first step in making that vision a reality.

 

Not only are we creating cutting-edge software for the local food movement, but our social enterprise structure means that we’re going to be putting a minimum of 66% of our profits back into the movement itself through our partnerships with local food systems researchers, advocates, educators & practitioners. More to come on that matter soon, so connect with us at @buckybox and be the first to hear.

Beta testers: Ding Ding – Round Two

Bucky Box is accepting Beta Testers for a second round of testing!ROUND TWO!

It’s that time again! We’re welcoming the next round of local food enterprises who want to do away with painful admin, and move into the new, easier era of local food distribution.

Beta testing round 1 went well enough for us to open the doors to more awesome local food distributors.

If you’re running a local food delivery business that needs help on the time consuming customer support, delivery logistics, and billing side of things, we’re keen to hear from you. We aim to get 2 days of your operational work down to 2 hours weekly.

Sound like you?

Here’s the qualifiers we’re looking for:

  • You are currently operating a delivery scheme with at least 50 customers.
  • You’re reasonably tech savvy & fairly relaxed – we class this as comfortable in GMail & willing to work things out with us if there’s a bug or two, rather than shouting down the phone.
  • You deliver a standard product such as a Box of seasonal produce. This can be a ‘mystery box’ or a even a clearly defined product like a green juice or a loaf of bread.
    • Likes and Dislike preferences
    • ‘extras’ & ‘à la carte‘ ordering is coming soon but not included in this round (e.g. ad hoc extras attached to an order, or a custom build box with veges A, B and C)
  • Any repeating delivery cycle is okay this means weekly, fortnightly, daily on specific days, or one-off orders.

If this still sounds like you then drop us a line on beta@buckybox.com, we’re limiting this round to approx 12 beta customers, first come first served.

Web Tools for Vegetable Box Schemes CSA and Food HubsIf you’re not eligible, or you’re just the kinda person that likes to spread the word, pass it onto your friends – hit us up at @BuckyBox on twitter.

(confused, or don’t know what all this local food jargon means – check out the guide here!)

Beta testers invited, come and get it while it’s hot

Software for local food distribution - now beta testingUp to now, we here at Bucky Box have been testing our tools for a better food system with a tiny select group of beta testers. Now is the time for us to open up the beta group a little larger.

So if you’re running a local food delivery business that needs help on the time consuming customer support, delivery logistics, and billing side of things, we’re keen to hear from you. We’re aiming to get 2 days of your operational work down to 2 hours weekly.

Sound like you?

Here’s the qualifiers we’re looking for:

  • You are currently operating a delivery scheme with at least 30 customers.
  • You deliver a simple “box”. This can be a mystery box or a even a clearly defined product like a green juice or a loaf of bread.
    • We cater for Likes and Dislike preferences
    • “Extras” are okay (e.g. $30 medium vege box plus $5 coffee extra)
    • ala-carte ordering is not (e.g. give me a custom box with veges A, B and C)
  • Any repeating delivery cycle is okay this means weekly, fortnightly, daily on specific days, or one-off orders.

If this still sounds like you then drop us a line on beta@buckybox.com, we’re limiting this round to approx 12 beta customers, first come first served.

Web Tools for Vegetable Box Schemes CSA and Food HubsIf you’re not eligible, or you’re just the kinda person that likes to spread the word, pass it onto your friends – hit us up at @BuckyBox on twitter.

(confused, or don’t know what all this local food jargon means – check out the guide here!)

Marching on!

Christmas is closing in.

Growing the greens for vege box deliveryIf you’re in the southern hemisphere like us, that means we’re coming into the bountiful summer season. It’s a beautiful sunny day today in Wellington, so we thought we’d better update you all on what we’ve been up to over the long winter.

We’ve been working hard; getting our heads around converting all the learnings, conversation, testing & experiences we’ve had with vege box schemes & food hubs.  Converting the real world problems and solutions of local food enterprise into a simple, powerful piece of software is quite tricky, but we’re feeling like we’re in a good space coming into December.

We want to get a solid base for people to work with, so it’s heads down all the way to the Christmas break for us.

Vege Box Software Founder at Community Supported FarmOn the other side of things, we’ve also been ensuring we’re still in touch with who we’re building this software for! We’ve been out to the CSA farm, talking with the fantastic Organics association in NZ, recently met the amazing Dirt Doctor, had some fascinating discussions with the effervescent Food Connect Foundation and wonderful Permaculture Institute. We’ve been out & about in Australia talking to amazing community food enterprises, community environment parks, and food rescue crews.  We’ve been involved in Urban Food discussions, shared our personal motivations, told you more about how we got involved, and watched the Occupy movement spread and reflected on it.

Recently one of our crew has been in Hong Kong, meeting some amazing & inspiring social entrepreneurs, and shared our vision with them.  They’re excited – more news on that soon!

We’ve watched, listened & got involved in #localfood & #foodtech discussions on Twitter, and enjoyed seeing the multitude of links, videos & conversations had through Facebook. We even had a fresh logo designed by the awesome Andrew Fyfe.

Oh and did we mention we won a Cleantech Award? Check the final video here:

So we look into December as a time of plenty. Plenty to build on, plenty to complete. But we’re ready and working as quick as we can to get people using Bucky Box in beta.

If you’re interested in hearing more, we’re starting up our beta list & newsletter – so sign up here!

Software built to catalyse the local food movement