For local producers, farmers, CSAs, food coops, markets and communities
Open Food Network is a community-owned software platform that is built for selling food. It can be either a shopfront for individual enterprises or a community hub of farmers and other local producers working together. OFN is operating in 9 countries, with 1000’s of local producers using it to reach markets to sell their products and support their local food economies in these difficult times.
Proprietary digital market models have a fixed cost, registration requirements that can exclude smaller producers and overall control of how producers can sell through hubs. With OFN, producers have more choice and independence - they can list their profile at no cost, they can set up their own shop front to sell their produce or they can sell their produce through a hub. Cost plans work on a tiered system that depends on the scale and needs of the business. Plans can be adjusted as the enterprise develops.
“Platforms like the Open Food Network were a digital game changer for local food economies before the pandemic hit. With physical distancing measures likely to be with us for the long term OFN is an essential lifeline for small producers to maintain and grow markets.”
What’s just as important as the functionality of the software are the values that underpin it. If you’re trying to build a new food system – as a farmer, farmers’ market, food co-op or food hub – then why would you choose software that isn’t also contributing to a fairer food system? By working collectively rather than competitively, we share the costs of developing new models that serve all our needs and we ensure that the platform is more resilient than many other proprietary models.
Solidarity co-ops are made up of a number of different groups of stakeholders with a range of perspectives and needs. With OFN Ireland, the interests of local producers, farmers, CSAs, food coops, markets and communities will all be represented. This platform is an exciting opportunity to explore a new way of cooperating that invites representation from a diverse group of stakeholders who share a common interest in food security.