The Local Food Startup Challenge is CLOSED

In February, we launched the Local Food Startup Challenge, along with a Startup Fund for half a million dollars worth of software licenses. The challenge is now over, and we’re totting up the totals, and will be announcing the winners soon.  Stay tuned!

 

Local Food Startup Challenge Complete

 

 

Check out this infographic with a quick overview of what the Startup Challenge catalysed for new food distribution businesses around the world!

 

 

Last Chance: Webinar on Crowdfunding for Local Food enterprise

Want to know how you can get the seedfunding together to start or scale your Local Food enterprise?

Crowdfunding for Local Food - PledgeMe + Bucky Box
Look no further! This is the last in our series of Crowdfunding webinars with a special focus on Local Food, and will be delivered by the enigmatic Anna Guenther from PledgeMe.

 

 

This webinar is optimised for the NZ time zone, and will be happening on Wednesday 5 June, at 6pm. You can tune in through our Google+ Page here.

 

[button link=”https://plus.google.com/b/113233439306730641133/events/c3qun50g5hqimd0gt8eki382oc0″ target=”_blank” color=”green” shape=”rounded” size=”large” align=”centre”]Register for Webinar here[/button]

 

It’s pretty simple to log into the webinar, you just need to make sure you have the plugin – check or download it here.

 

 

Please RSVP here:

 

Fill out my online form.

//

 

 

Expected take aways from this webinar:

  • Learn about how crowdfunding can gain you seed capital to fund the set up of your enterprise
  • Find out how & why crowdfunding is a great way of finding your early champions in your community
  • Get some insight into how crowdfunding can get you known in your area much quicker than traditional advertising

 

We look forward to seeing you online soon!

Seed funding for Local Food Enterprise

Seed Funding For Local Food

How do you get the seed money to get your local food enterprise started?

 

This is a challenge that a lot of entrepreneurs, grassroots solutionists and small farms struggle with. It’s tough to get the money needed to cover packaging, marketing materials, branding and packing space, to get up and running.

 

Whilst we’ve closed applications for The Local Food Startup Challenge this week, we’re still aiming to add some rocket fuel to the challenge entrants, and after the good people of StartSomeGood got in touch, we decided to do a webinar together to educate startup challengers about Crowdfunding.

 

Getting the seed funding to get the wheels moving is important, but there’s much better ways than getting bank loans, and with Crowdfunding growing around the world as a key way of seeding new and exciting projects from the grassroots, it’s time to take a look deeper at what the benefits are.

 

You can see the slides Tom Dawkins from StartSomeGood used for the webinar here:

Tom and I caught up after the webinar, and pulled out the Top 5 takeaways from the webinar:
  1. Use crowdfunding to connect with your first customers – offer them fair value on your rewards (such as 2 weeks of produce boxes), don’t see it as a donation.
  2. Share your story – connect with peers & wider community who care about the things you do and invite them to be a part of your journey.
  3. Don’t let making a video slow you down or intimidate you. It can be really simple, so long as it’s authentic and meaningful.
  4. Line up your first funders – do this before you launch so you launch with momentum.
  5. Graft & Reward – crowdfunding takes work, and can really benefit and propel those who put the effort in, especially when it’s backed by a great story and cool, unique rewards.

 

↪ Tweet these Tips ↩

 

We also prepared a round up of some of the nuggets from during and after the webinar which you can see here:

 

[View the story “Crowdfunding for Local Food – the StartSomeGood + Bucky Box webinar” on Storify]

Crowdfunding for Local Food – the StartSomeGood + Bucky Box webinar

A webinar by StartSomeGood and Bucky Box to bring some knowledge and inspiration to Local Food startups around the world, to help get the seed funding to get started.

Storified by Bucky Box· Fri, May 10 2013 20:36:54

How do you get the seed money to get your local food enterprise started? 

Software Startup And Global Crowdfunding Platform Join Forces To Kickstart The Local Food MovementLocal Food Delivery is traditionally an underfunded business, but a software startup and a global crowdfunding platform are breaking the …
StartSomeGood and Bucky Box Join Forces to Kickstart the Local Food MovementWho doesn’t love local food? Well, here’s some exciting news for local food enterprises and people from all over the world who truly appr…
“crowdfunding is a powerful tool to launch local food startups, allowing you to raise capital and increase awareness of your enterprise in an exciting, community-based way.”
Webinar: Crowdfunding for The Local Food Startup Challenge | The Bucky Box BlogPropel Your Local Food Startup with Crowdfunding Sometimes it seems like crowdfunding is just for new digital devices, iPhone covers and …
After a good buzz online, it was time to get to the pointy end of things!
REGISTRATIONS CLOSING SOONOur $500k Global Fund for Local Food Distributors is closing on 6 May buff.ly/10T35WvBucky Box
Want to launch a local food enterprises? FREE crowdfunding webinar on Monday 6 May at 7pm AEST… fb.me/1Fi1ZvHB4Urban Ecology
Webinar: Crowdfunding for The Local Food Startup Challenge @BuckyBox May 6 7-8pm Australia EST, 10am London localfood.buckybox.com/2013/04/crowdf…Anake Goodall
I’m about to host a webinar specifically for food-based social enterprises with @buckybox, join in: bit.ly/11FHg82 #socentTom Dawkins
Find out how to finance your #localfood startup using crowdfunding! Join our FREE webinar on NOW! #locavore ow.ly/kJO6l #socentStartSomeGood
Amped for the first of our #startupchallenge webinar on Crowdfunding for Local Food Enterprise with @StartSomeGood localfood.buckybox.comSam Rye
We know that local food systems are better for the economy, the environment and our communities. Here’s a little research into that to remind you why you do what you do!
RT @eatinglocally: Research report shows how sustainable food systems strengthen the health of local communities ow.ly/kFFxdBe A Localist
With people from all over the world on the line between the two webinars, we delved into what makes a great crowdfunding campaign for local food enterprises.
And we’re off! @tomjd is up & running – started #crowdfunding platform @StartSomeGood with @abudak whilst working with @Ashoka #socentBucky Box
"We don’t have a shortage of ideas, we have a shortage of people who are resourced to make them happen" – @StartSomeGood #localfood #socentBucky Box
Our #crowdfunding webinar with @BuckyBox has kicked off! Join in NOW to find out how to finance your #food venture ow.ly/kJPn2StartSomeGood
Crowdfunding = Peerfunding. It’s not about a faceless crowd waiting to shower you with money, it’s about your Peers (friends, family, people who believe in you), your Tribes (people who believe in your idea & what you want to create), and finally Crowds (the mainstream who connect with your project).
Who should you turn to when ur looking for seedfunding for your local food enterprise? @StartSomeGood shares insights pic.twitter.com/tR9JaDSPxDBucky Box
"After gaining the support of your peers, it’s time to turn to your Tribe." -> we’re lucky to have a big #foodies tribe – reach out to them!Bucky Box
Connections & Networks are going to be what drives your Local Food #crowdfunding campaign. You ready? #startupchallengeBucky Box
It’s key to start building your networks of people who want to see your project happen – get them onboard with pledging (even if it’s just a little) in the first days…
"Build a pipeline of people who will pledge in the first days of your local food crowdfunding campaign – momentum is everything!" @tomjdBucky Box
Crowdfunding is different to traditional fundraising.  You don’t just get a badge or a ribbon for giving to a cause. There’s a number of reasons why people give to Crowdfunding campaigns, so think hard about what your Rewards will be – start thinking about offering Value to people who pledge, such as your produce once you’re up & running!
Motivations people give to local food crowdfunding campaigns: "Shopping – a good or service they want to bring to life" – @StartSomeGoodBucky Box
Motivations people give to local food crowdfunding campaigns: "Philanthropy – a future we want to see" – @StartSomeGoodBucky Box
Motivations people give to local food crowdfunding campaigns: "Support – supporting a friend or member of their community" – @StartSomeGoodBucky Box
Over 70% of #crowdfunding campaigns are funded by single donors, the importance of Peers is crucial to local food seed $$ @StartSomeGoodBucky Box
Why we suggest to our International #startupchallenge entrants to use @StartSomeGood to crowdfund in the early stages pic.twitter.com/9ME0GDqr08Bucky Box
Crowdfunding is not about a crowd of faceless people waiting to shower you with $, it’s about Connections & Community, just like Local Food.Bucky Box
Motivations of people giving to local food crowdfunding campaigns: "Issues, Geography & Team" – Learning: TELL YOUR STORY – @StartSomeGoodBucky Box
"Crowdfunding is a great way to launch your local food enterprise, or help expand your activities to enhance your impact" – @StartSomeGoodBucky Box
What will your rewards be for a Local Food crowdfunder? Acknowledgement, Schwag or Souvenirs/Crafts? Maybe a Vege Box? – @StartSomeGoodBucky Box
More reward ideas for crowdfunding local food biz – Pre Sales of your produce, Unique experiences or items, Access to your team’s skills!Bucky Box
Many of our ventures have found that #crowdfunding was a great way to invite the community into their project #StartingGoodStartSomeGood
Our #crowdfunding webinar with @BuckyBox has kicked off! Join in NOW to find out how to finance your #food venture ow.ly/kJPn2StartSomeGood
.@GoldhillOrganic great to meet you Jane, thanks so much for joining us & have a great day in that sunshine! @StartSomeGoodBucky Box
What will your rewards be for a Local Food crowdfunder? Acknowledgement, Schwag or Souvenirs/Crafts? Maybe a Vege Box? – @StartSomeGoodBucky Box
Great webinar yest by @StartSomeGood & @buckybox @samrye_enspiral on peerfunding for local food. Will definitely use their platform. Cheers!Toni Dipple
A diverse day into the techie world with a webinar @StartSomeGood @buckybox and then gorgeous food @BlandfordFest ending with @Dorset_HourGoldhill Organics
Big thanks all round!
Massive thanks to our global crowdfunding partner @StartSomeGood for insights + support to bring seedfunding to local food initiatives!Bucky Box
Thanks to @buckybox for partnering with us to support #localfood startups. And thanks to everyone who joined our webinar!StartSomeGood
Well @StartSomeGood + @buckybox = Local Food Biz Startup in a box. Change is here, it’s a rising tide for the food system!Bucky Box
@buckybox has launched a chat to keep the ideas flowing after the #crowdfunding webinar with @startsomegood! join in: buckybox.nestivity.com/discussions/51…Nestivity
Umm…@buckybox is totally rad. Solves a practical problem for farmers markets and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs! #produceReid Simpson
Treat your supporters like your cofounders! They are supporting you because they believe in your vision for a better future! #StartingGoodStartSomeGood
I’ll leave you with this step by step guide to creating an AWESOME #crowdfunding campaign buff.ly/13e1UkY #StartingGoodStartSomeGood
It’s time to ditch the spreadsheets and start looking after your business again. pic.twitter.com/wjF6N3PwRYBucky Box
Check out Tom’s full slides from the webinar here:
Local Food Startup Challenge crowdfunding webinars with StartSomeGood – May 2013As global crowdfunding partners of the Local Food Startup Challenge (http://challenge.buckybox.com/) StartSomeGood hosted two webinars in…
StartSomeGood: crowdfunding for non-profits, social entrepreneurs and changemakersStartSomeGood is a crowdfunding platform for non-profits, social entrepreneurs and changemakers to raise funds and grow a community of su…
Bucky Box, simple to use software for your CSA, Vege Box Scheme, or Food Hub.Bucky Box, simple to use software for your CSA, Vegetable Box Scheme, or Food Hub to automate orders, billing and delivery logistics

Once again, huge thanks to StartSomeGood for joining with us to support The Local Food Startup Challenge, and catalyse local food globally.

 

Are you’re keen to pursue a crowdfunding campaign to get seed funding for your project, but still not sure where to start? Get in touch and we’ll point you in the right direction!

 

 

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

Startup Challenge Spotlight : ‘Good Neighbour’ Launches in New Zealand

Local Food Startup Challenge Banner Header

We’re delighted to announce one of the first Local Food Startup Challenge entrants has just launched!

 

Good Neighbour Local Food Delivery Tauranga Bay of Plenty Building Community

 

Good Neighbour brings good food to local people in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, Aotearoa New Zealand. By operating their food delivery enterprise, they’re able to build the fabric of the community from the grassroots and reinvest their profits in other community-based programs.

 

Good Neighbour Produce Boxes launched last week with nearly 30 large orders.  So far the feed back has been all positive with many loving the fresh quality and value in each box.   Most of all the great advantage is not only saving money  or supporting  good healthy eating but backing the Good Neighbour Vision of helping those struggling in our community through sincere love in action.  We aim to put all our profits back into our communities through funds raised in this way.  Once we get our fruit boxes up and running we will focus on the community projects targeted at people in need. In the process of helping others the dream is that others will begin to get to know their neighbours and in some way be able to say “We have a friend just over the fence”

– Cam Hill, Good Neighbour Founder

 

Good Neighbour Packing Boxes

 

We’re proud to be supporting a fantastic social enterprise like Good Neighbour, and it feels fitting that one of the first startups to launch is here in our home of New Zealand.  That said, we’ve had lots of interest from overseas for the pilot of our Startup Challenge, so who knows where the next launch will come from!

 

Good Neighbour - Delivery Day

 

Good Neighbour were one of the organisations we connected with early in their development when they were modeling how to get set up and running. We were excited to be able to work with them to provide the IT infrastructure to manage their order, customer accounts, packing & delivery logistics and payment reconciliation.

You can visit Good Neighbour’s website here, Facebook page, or get your good local food in Tauranga at their Bucky Box powered webstore.

Congrats on Your Launch

 

** UPDATE **

Good Neighbour were in the local press! Check out this little article…

Good Neighbour Press The Weekend Sun Bay of Plenty

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

 

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