ofn-uk-colorx2The Open Food Network (OFN) has just launched in the UK and aims contribute to food sovereignty by supporting food producers and local food initiatives to thrive. We’re offering free support to Landworkers’ Alliance members to offer online direct sales to their customers.

The Open Food Network aims to help producers and communities develop their local food enterprise by making it easy to offer online ordering to their customers. This could mean adding an online shop to an existing website, offering online orders ready for market days  – ‘Click and Collect’, giving more choice to box schemes or teaming with other local producers to create a food hub.

We’re offering LWA members free support to get started with a shopfront on the Open Food Network. This includes full training and technical help to get started, plus face-to-face support, sharing our wealth of experience in business models and distribution and the opportunity to visit other OFN users.

Mark Harrison with a delivery for OFN

Mark Harrison with a delivery for OFN

One of the farmers using OFN in Stroud is Mark Harrison, part of the farm team at Stroud Community Agriculture. Stroud Community Agriculture is a community led CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) project farming 50 acres of land and employing 3 full-time-equivalent farmers. SCA sells its surplus vegetables through OFN enabling local people who are not able to commit to a CSA veg share to access the delicious biodynamic vegetables and meat produced on the farm.  Mark says “we are pleased to be able to sell our surpluses through OFN and be part of a co-operative of local producers building an increasingly strong local food economy.”

OFN UK developed out of the shared experiences of local food hubs and food producers in Stroud, Forest of Dean, Fife and Tamar Valley. After individually spending years and significant time/money on developing and maintaining websites and software the groups joined forces. Linking with groups around the world with the same aims the Open Food Network is a global open source commons of tools to help small scale food producers and distributors utilise the web for online sales. Guided by the principles of food sovereignty, OFN aims to create food systems that are fair for people and planet.

OFN aims to be low cost, taking just 2% of sale price and only once your enterprise is trading more than £5000/year through OFN and after a six month free trial to find out if OFN will be of benefit to you.

This free support offer is possible through generous funding from Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.

Contact the OFN UK team to find out more about this offer to LWA members: hello@openfoodnetwork.org.uk
Nick: 01453 840037