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!

Seedstock features Bucky Box on Sustainable Agriculture & Tech Startup Blog

We woke up on Tuesday morning to find Seedstock had published an article about Bucky Box’s work in the local food movement.

 

Our founder, Will, had chatted with their writers about our vision for mainstream organic farming, and a people & planet friendly food system, as well as filling them in on the social enterprise angle of our work, where we aim to support champions around the world who work on research, education, capacity building & awareness raising for a better food system.

 

Do take the opportunity to check out the article, entitled “NZ Social Enterprise Bucky Box to Simplify Distribution for Sustainable Farmers with Web-based Application

Read about how NZ Social Enterprise, Bucky Box, is enabling local food distribution through a web software applicationIf you’ve not read Seedstock before, and you have an interest in sustainable agriculture focusing on startups, entrepreneurship, technology, urban agriculture, news and research – then you should head on over to their site right now!

 

Big thanks also to all the people who picked up the article, and are sharing with their networks – a significant boost came from Food+Tech Connect and Slow Food USA through twitter!

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

Website & Social Media kicks off

 

Here at Bucky Box, we’re really excited about what’s brewing.

 

Whilst Bucky Box is a process of evolution – you can read about the beginnings here – it’s starting to gather momentum.

 

If you’re new to the blog, here’s what we’re about:

Bucky Box is creating the tools for a better food system.

A better food system is one which is centred on benefiting people & planet, rather than simply economics.  Our vision is a system which is resilient, nourishing, and one where we’re able to rejoice in the pleasures of food once more.

Bucky Box is building beautifully designed, intuitive, easy to use, yet powerful web-based software to reconnect local food systems.

This web-based software is operating as a service, and it supports vege box schemes through automating subscriptions, billing & delivery logistics to make it easy to run, enjoyable, and make caring for your customers fun again.

 

Why vege box schemes? Well you can read our blog about them here, but we believe they have the potential to reconnect farmers to growers, and reduce the power of the middleman which often forces the environmental & social costs to growers and consumers, and controls the farming process.

 

We see our role as the enablers & facilitators of social good outcomes – we’re a product of the Enspiral collective and proud of it.  Enspiral understands the need for Business 2.0 (business which recognises social & environmental impacts – positive & negative) so we’re running Bucky Box as a social enterprise, and our main way of gauging success is the level of social & environmental impact we’re having.

 

So we’re searching for the best Local Food Champions to partner with and give back to, so if you have any ideas – let us know!

Bucky Box Website Screenshot
Last week we launched our new website, where you can see more about the app & the team behind it.

 

We’re also hooked into Twitter & Facebook if you want to follow our progress or find out more. That’s where the conversation happens, so we’d love to hear from you – we’re here to help.

 

If you’re interested in using the service – get in touch at beta@buckybox.com or sign up to the newsletter here.