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!

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 <-

Announcing The Local Food Startup Challenge

We’re launching a challenge to get Local Food Distributors started & successful around the world.

The Local Food Startup Challenge

After months of chatting with Distributors around the world who were getting started, we kept hearing that it was hard getting through the startup phase. Not only did new businesses need the IT infrastructure to help them scale up, but they needed the capital to get started, profile to let their local community know they exist, small business support, and any hints & tips from other people’s experiences to give them the jump start they needed.

 

-> Tweet this Story <-

Local Food Startup Challenge Banner Header

 

We decided to launch a Challenge to bring these elements together, to give you the reason to get started or help you get through that difficult first year. Our challenge is open to new local food distributors, and those under one year old.

 

Enter The Local Food Startup Challenge and you will straight away get $1000 of Bucky Box credit and a package of support. Build your business over 3 months and you will be in to win the main prize!  <– Click to Tweet This

 

Take a look at The Local Food Startup Challenge website now for more information, and get started building a sustainable business today!

Local Food Startup Challenge website

Know someone who’s been meaning to start a business for awhile?
Send them the link to the challenge (http://bit.ly/FoodStartupChallenge), or drop us a note (sam@buckybox.com) and we’ll get in touch!

 

Press Release:

$500k Global Fund Announced for Local Food Businesses

See the full Local Food Startup Fund press release here. <- Tweet this Story

 

Apply to become a Challenge Partner now

Thanks to interest from various quarters, we’re opening the door to additional partners who’re looking to support Local Food Distributors in their local area. Simply fill in this form, and we’ll be in touch. <- Tweet about Challenge Partners

 

Food, The City & Innovation

 

Local Food - Conference on Food, The City and Innovation

 

 

Here at Bucky Box, we’re always on the look out to bring you some ripe pickings of interesting events, guides, resources, and ideas.

 

Yesterday we spotted this awesome conference which is happening in Austin TX on 1 & 2 February (that’s only a week away!).  It focuses on “Food, The City and Innovation“, and it’s hosted by The Food Lab.  You can expect all kinds of interesting discussions, ideas and developments to unfold from it, as it’s a cross-sectoral approach to changing the food system – featuring engineers, designers, developers, scientists & architects, among others.

 

 

Conference Poster - Local Food, The City and Innovation - Partner

 

 

Explore some of the big questions facing us in 21st century, with a team of multidisciplinary folks.  For those of us who can’t be there, you can follow along on Twitter at #FCICON on 1 and 2 February – you can also follow us to get some of the choice retweets of interesting conference tips & outcomes:

 

Bucky Box has become a Partner for the conference – along with the awesome Edible Austin and Capital Factory!  We believe entrepreneurs and startups are going to change the food system this century, so we’re proud to be contributing to the soil out of which new food startups can grow!

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!

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.