Social Business & Trendhunter feature Bucky Box : Local Food Delivery Software

A big thanks to Social Business and Trendhunter, who picked up our social good business model, and ran a story on it recently entitled ‘Organic Food Delivery Software’!

Local Food Distribution software company Bucky Box, have a social good mission

 

It’s always nice to be featured as much for our social good mission & business model, as it is for the technology which will catalyse the possibilities for local food around the world.

 

Bucky Box is a New Zealand-based social enterprise that is making it easer to deliver organic groceries. This innovative software will cut down on time and errors—making the business owner and the customer happy. The tool emerges alongside the growth of grocery schemes like community supported agriculture and other distribution models, which exist in many industrialized countries for organic food and non-organic food alike.

 

Of course, our software isn’t just suited to Organic food distribution, we can support schemes who are distributing fruit, veg, meat, juices, and a whole lot more – take a peek at our video to understand a little more.

So a big thanks to @TianaReid who hunted us down and to Social Business and Trendhunter for featuring us!

5 Tips for Local Food Delivery

Image courtesy of The Ecologist

We realised that as of late we’ve been chatting with a lot of local food delivery enterprises from all over the world, which puts us in a privileged place to spot some of what’s working for different organisations, wherever they may be.  We thought in the spirit of open source, we’d share our musings;

 

Get Social!

The landscape of finding & engaging with customers has changed with the emergence of social media. With social media has come an unprecedented opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation with your customers & stakeholders, and tell your own story like never before.  One of the best things? With over 835 million people worldwide using Facebook & Twitter, many of your customers are likely to already be there and 100’s more potential customers in your area too.

Whilst most social media sites (such as Facebook & Twitter) are free to use, you should factor your time into the equation – like any conversation, listening as well as talking takes time.  Consider super-targeted adverts on Facebook/Twitter/Google Ad Words.  We also heartily suggest telling your story through a blog (like ours!) on Tumblr or WordPress, and for the more aesthetically inclined – share your story, your passion & your vision through sites like Pinterest or Vimeo.

Remember; make your dialogue about Quality not Quantity.

 

Call on existing resources & support

In several countries around the world, there’s now NGO’s & Government programs which are set up to help local food distributors get started, or iron out any problems.  They vary from downloadable action packs to full immersive social enterprise courses!

 

So our suggestion? Research, and make use of anything out there which could help you – you’ll be surprised what’s available!

Just some of our favourite resource hubs include; Soil Association (UK), Making Local Food Work (UK), Wallace Centre (US), Sustain (UK), Eaterprises (Australia), Transition Network (Worldwide).

 

Get creative with Funding

There are plenty of ways to fund a local food enterprise beyond mortgaging your house with the bank.  Our run down from the National Good Food Network webinar on funding local food tells you how!

Teaser for the NGFN blog: Co-operative model, LION networks, Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Micro/e-Lending platforms like Kiva, Slow Munis, Local Community Pre-Sales, Local Stock Exchanges, Investment Clubs like Slow Money.

See more here: Cutting-edge ways to Fund your Local Food business

 

Leverage free & low cost tools

Let the explosion of innovation & applications that resulted from mobile technology play into your hands!  The great news about the Mac App Store, Google Play & Chrome Store is that there are more applications than ever which can help you run your business more efficiently, and many of them are free.

 

Whether you need to manage your to-do list [Wunderlist], collaborative project management [Trello], communicate with your customers for nix [Skype], manage your social media marketing [Hootsuite], or simply use collaborative document sharing & calendars [Google Apps] – there’s a host of free apps out there.

 

We also would heartily suggest you check out some of the emerging technology, specifically around local food distribution.  This is where we get to play.  There’s several options out there now, which can manage customer accounts, help you manage packing & delivery logistics, and deal with the burden of payment reconciliation. Taking away the admin burden of local food distribution is one of the main barriers to growth we can see & are doing something about!

 

Be Authentic, Tell Your Story & be about More Than Profit

We keep coming back to this as a really important part of local food distribution.  We all loathe greenwashing don’t we? So don’t do it – be authentic with the story of where you came from, where your food is produced, and how you play nice with others.  We see local food distribution as being about values, and we constantly ask people to think about business in terms of ‘more than profit’.

 

Importantly, don’t ruin it for everyone. Local delivery, organics, farm-to-fork… it’s a tiny fraction of food distribution around the world. Don’t go stomping on it by picking fights with other people trying to do something similar in your area!  Try thinking about converting other people away from mainstream supermarket shopping, and growing the local food economy?

 

Use your blog and social media to tell the story of your business. Make it about more than just ‘units’ and ‘weights of food’, and aim for something more aspirational – your Values.  Use photography, words, infographics, videos & the great testimonials from your customers to show that you’re about supporting local farmers, delivering affordable organics, or whatever else it is that got you interested in local food delivery in the first place.  But be authentic!

Here’s some of our favourite use of Creativity in Local Food to get you started.

 

Do you have any more top tips to share?

 

You can now see the expanded version of this blog here:

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.

Press Release : Catalysing Local Food, Globally

– FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –

 

CATALYSING LOCAL FOOD, GLOBALLY

1 November 2012

 

Kiwi software company, Bucky Box, are on a social and environmental mission to disrupt the global food system and this week they’ve announced the public release of their software for local food distribution.

 

The social enterprise company aims to level the playing field against the industrial food distributors such as the large supermarket chains which account for 99% of where we get our food.

 

Bucky Box is a web-based application targeted at local vegetable box schemes, community-supported-agriculture and food co-ops, and has been doing private trials for 18 months.

 

Community Connector, Sam Rye commented, “We’ve put a lot of work into making the software simple and easy to use, yet it’s pretty sophisticated under the hood – it captures two years of learnings and conversations with local foodies all over the world. We were amazed at how much interest there was both in New Zealand and overseas.”

 

The local food movement has been growing in New Zealand, and is already in full flight around the world especially in the countries where food has become highly industrialised such as the US, UK & Australia. Rooted in the idea that farmers should get a fair deal, many people are unable to afford fruit and vegetables, and our over-reliance on cheap oil throughout food production, storage & transport, the movement sees farmers & entrepreneurs taking up the challenge to cut out the middleman and go direct to consumer.

 

“Whilst getting a box scheme up and running in Auckland, I started looking around at people all over the world doing the same thing, and realising how inefficient we were being by running things with spreadsheets & scraps of paper. Having a background in software development from the first smartphone days, I realised we could do this better. Early indications from our beta testing shows about 80% reductions in admin time and we’re still launching new features.” says Will Lau, the founder of Bucky Box.

 

The story goes that Bucky Box found it’s team at the disruptive incubator, Enspiral in Wellington, where they established an innovative social enterprise structure which will see a 67% profit share back into the local food movement through collaborative partnerships.

 

“We wanted to ensure our intentions were clear and that we didn’t end up extracting value out of the very people we seek to support – small scale farmers and the lifeblood of all local economies; small businesses & entrepreneurs. So, we set up this new style of business model we call social enterprise.” said Lau.

 

“We’re incredibly excited to be based in Wellington where we can feel a new kind of business emerging in our networks. Social innovation is indeed alive and kicking in the Creative Capital, and we’re stoked to be a part of that, something that people can point to and show what 21st century business will look like.” said Rye.

 

 

Bucky Box has already received international recognition from the likes of Fast Company and Springwise, and is set to launch the software globally from 1 November.

 

Find out more about Bucky Box at www.buckybox.com or join the conversation on their Twitter feed.

 

– ENDS –

 

Contact for Media Enquiries:

Sam Rye | Community Connector | Bucky Box

+64 211 141343 | sam@buckybox.com

http://www.buckybox.com

http://www.buckybox.org

http://www.twitter.com/buckybox

http://www.facebook.com/buckybox

 

The Bucky Box Media Kit is available here [zip file]

 

About Bucky Box

Bucky Box was formed as a social enterprise in 2011 with a vision to catalyse local food, globally.

 

With a mission to ‘bring about a human food system that supports the collective long term health of all living systems’, Bucky Box is a new type of business.

 

The software is beautifully designed & intuitive to use; it tackles online ordering, customer database, packing & delivery logistics and payment reconciliation.  It is offered on a software-as-a-service basis, and can be used in any country in the world with an internet connection.

 

Bucky Box is part of the Enspiral group – a social innovation accelerator and eco-system based in Wellington, New Zealand

 

For more information, visit: www.buckybox.com or ‘Bucky Box | The Mission’ page: www.buckybox.org