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.

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:

Creativity in the Local Food Movement

Don’t you just love it when people get all creative with the topics you love?

Well lately we’ve been admiring from afar the awesome Lexicon of Sustainability (photography of Sustainability initiatives), Perennial Plate video series focused on adventurous & sustainable eating, and Erin Gleeson’s fantastic food photography with a twist.

 

We wanted to share with you some of our favorite features of each of their work, but strongly encourage you to seek them out and spend some time flicking through more of their fantastic creative outpourings of local food goodness.

 

First up, the wonderful photography of the Lexicon of Sustainability…

Community Supported Agriculture through the lens of the Lexicon Project

Farm to Plate through the lens of the Lexicon Project

Permaculture through the lens of The Lexicon ProjectFood Security through the lens of the Lexicon ProjectFood Miles through the lens of the Lexicon Project

See more of the Lexicon of Sustainability’s photgraphy exhibit here.

 

And here’s the very talented Daniel Klein and his video series ‘Perennial Plate

You can find more of the Perennial Plate video series at the website here, or at their vimeo stream here.

 

The extremely talented Erin Gleeson is based in San Francisco; a highly talented photographer & illustrator, she captures the beauty of food in the rustic surroundings of the Forest on her new blog ‘The Forest Feast‘.  Check out her work here (thanks to Erin for allowing us to ‘borrow’ this beaut image!):

We hope you agree her work is totally amazing.. I’ve never wanted to eat Zucchini bites so much in all my life!  Make sure you check out her professional website here, and The Forest Feast blog here.

 

We’re looking forward to releasing a few of our own creative projects in the not too distant future. If you know of any other great uses of design / creativity / the arts, to celebrate & catalyse the local food movement, please send us a link!

The Meta Move to Local

Buy local - support your local farmers

Awesome poster courtesy of A Snail's View http://bit.ly/AaCqom

We’ve been getting all inspired by watching some movies as of late. We’d like to share these two from The Twelve Films Project, as they exhibit the grass roots shift to fresh, seasonal, local produce which is happening around the world.

A fim a month by Christian Remde - focusing on the local food movement“LOCAL”

“Farm to Trailer”

We were specifically interested in the debate on ‘Local’ regarding organics and the meta trend we see toward knowing your farmer & their methods.  We’d love to hear your thoughts on how either the FoodTech industry, or us here at Bucky Box, could facilitate this happening for consumers.

We see the need for transparency and traceability in the food system, so we’d love to hear of other initiatives we could tie in with, or new ideas for how we can make the food system fairer for growers & consumers.

A return to a people & planet friendly food system is happening, now lets think about how we can speed it up.

#OccupyFood

It’s been a while since @OccupyWallSt kicked off, and turned things upside down around the world.

Several things about Occupy have stuck with me as we learn more about the ideals, motivations and purpose of the movement, and what it is evolving into.

I never saw that Occupy was about anti-capitalism or radical views. I saw Occupy was about Conversation. I see the movements around the world modelling a society they want to live in, about showing that consensus is possible, and that ‘inequality anywhere is a threat to equality everywhere’.

When I look at Occupy through the lens of our Food systems, I see several of the same things happening, and indeed there has been a lot of involvement from various food system educators & advocates in the discussions.

We see a crumbling system which is failing us – industrialised food is causing harm and inequality around the world to people and planet.  We see the need for a platform of robust discussion about the status quo, and conversation about what is possible.  We see that technology has changed so much, that a localised, distributed food system is possible. We see that economics are controlling a system which is much more complex than money alone.

We’re looking to see how this brighter future can be realised, and we’re seeing the Local Food Movement has already started, and is growing every day.  We see that a widescale return to organic farming is already happening (at exponential growth of 20% per year!).

We see that now is the time to take back our food system.

Not only does Bucky Box stand for a Food System which is friendly to People & Planet, but we also consider Poverty & Hunger part of our mandate. We see farmers getting a fair deal as part of our mandate.  We see food distributor accountability as part of our mandate. We see transparency for Consumer decision making as part of our mandate.

Join us in a better food system, starting today.

Bucky Box catalyses local food from Bucky Box on Vimeo.

Here’s some further takes on Occupying Food:

What is your take on the growing food movement, and how it relates to what is going on with Occupy?

What kind of a food system would you like to see in the future?

What platforms already exist to discuss how big food is impacting our people & planet?

Balsamiq – A whole lot of good!

Every now and then you come across people who really make you sit up and take notice.

We’ve been hard at work continuing to make Bucky Box as usable as possible, so we’ve been looking for the tools to enable us to do this as easily as possible.  We stumbled across Balsamiq who developed a wireframing application which enables us to quickly and simply visually mock up what we want new pages to look like for our awesome developers like @ootoovak@allan_enspiral to code.

We got to talking, and told them what we’re up to with Bucky Box.  They kindly let us know that they have a special category for ‘do-gooders’ – in fact they’ve given away something like $680k of licenses to their awesome software to date! Way to go Balsamiq!!

Check out their blog about their view about giving back here! We’re truly thankful to Balsamiq for providing us with some licenses to help our team nail down our last round of designs, to get Bucky Box launched to the wider world.  We know they understand our mission, and the potential impact we can catalyse around the world with these tools for a better food system.

So take a look at the video below, and see if you can spot the mockups we put together using Balsamiq’s kickass wireframing software;

Bucky Box : submission for Cleantech Open to represent New Zealand in Global Entrepreneurship Week

Cleantech Challenge Champions

Wow!

We’re rocking here at Bucky Box today, with the news that we have won the New Zealand section of the Global Entrepreneurship Week’s ‘Cleantech’ category!

A good friend suggested we enter our company’s story into the competition a while back, and we found out we were through to the top three entries last week.  Then on Monday we found out we had won the national competition in the ‘Air, Water & Energy’ category.

Our entry will now be shown at the Global Entrepreneurship Week’s competition in San Francisco, but you can get a sneak peak at the first cut here;

A massive thanks to all our friends, family, and the mighty Enspiral crew back here in New Zealand, for all the support & encouragement following the announcement. It means a lot. We’re proud to be representing our country in this competition, especially on the wave of national pride sweeping the nation from the All Blacks massive win on the weekend!

Richie McCaw raises Webb Ellis trophy as champions of RWC in front of All Black team

Image courtesy of ruggaworld.com

Next stop for Bucky Box & our tools for a better food system… San Francisco!!

See official press release from GEW here about the Cleantech win.