1st June 2011

Foodnation – Bringing Back Buying Power to Locavores


Foodnation is one of the 2 winning ideas out of 52 entries to the ‘How Can Britain Feed Itself?‘ GeoVation Challenge.  Foodnation is currently in Alpha. Here Louise Campbell, web-designer and GeoVation Challenge Award winner is asking you to join the food revolution and sign up to Beta test Foodnation.

“The farming world has been grabbed by the scruff of its neck and rammed into a structure that is alien to its purpose, at odds with the needs of humanity and the biological constraints of the world. The current food supply chain is a game of money and power which makes a few rich. Colin Tudge “Good Food For Everyone Forever: A People’ Take Over of the Worlds Food Supply”

As part of the Challenge, GeoVation ran a workshop in 2010 to identify the problems faced by farmers. The main issues included sending excess foods to waste, identifying local markets and marketing effectively to these.

Britain currently imports 45% of its food including 80% of fruits and vegetables. The trade deficit in 2009 was £18BN whereas the value of agriculture’s contribution to the local economy dropped dramatically from £10BN in 1996 to £5.8BN in 2008.

Britain needs to grow more food domestically to create a sustainable farming system. There are now a staggering 80% less farms than 20 years ago with less than 2% of the population farming the land. This needs to increase to at least 10%. There are farms and outlets already in existence with excess capacity to grow sufficient food. It’s simply a case of driving demand.

At the moment, there is no easy way to directly connect farmers and consumers websites access to local is fragmented and confusing. Mintel’s recent “Budget Shopper UK” report states: “Consumer confidence is at it’s lowest since 1994” and “Smart shoppers are getting smarter. Smart Shopping is a way for people to gain control in uncertain economic times, Smart Shopping is its own reward.”

Britain is also best poised for an mobile commerce food buying revolution using geolocation. Mintel’s “Telecom Convergence and Retail Change Report” Dec 2010 states: “The UK saw the highest growth in SmartPhone take up in 17 countries, with subscribers up 70% in 2010, with the highest majority of users who use non-desktop to access the internet, such growth has only been matched in Japan.

foodnation“Consumers are clearly excited by cutting edge products with a choice of ways to purchase. UK consumers are at the forefront of adoption on convergence mobile products such as smart phones and tablets.” All economic indicators suggest food prices will rise further and consumers are looking for ways to re-evaluate their shopping habits.

As Food prices continue to rise, the food chain is vulnerable to prices spikes due to increasing oil costs, transportation disruption and global warming. Foodnation is an iPhone app, which addresses these issues – bringing farmers and consumers together while enabling an important “feedback loop” and driving crucial trade via m-commerce. Establishing conversations between farmers and consumers allows farmers to produce the foods consumers demand and to increase awareness of locally produced foods.

Providing an m-commerce facility enables farms to sell direct to the consumer and, as a result, improve financial stability and sustainability. A Groupon-esque deals section also helps farms raise awareness and shift seasonal products in bulk at wholesale prices.

The customer benefits include food-security and better tasting foods, less vulnerable to price spikes. Foodnation have exciting partnerships lined up with the some of the UK’s leading independent food groups to help facilitate change.

We are looking for BETA testers to help test and refine the technology as well as raising an angel round to help expand the business. Interested parties please get in touch. Join the real food revolution, help reduce food miles and food waste. Sign-up here to get your early invite to test Foodnation.

Louise Campbell