Tag Archives: farmer

Open data, big data, big changes

Today we have a great guest blog from GeoVation winner, Ed Dowding who tells us what Sustaination is aiming to achieve and how they will be doing this using gathering and using open data:

Imagine if there were a shop in which you knew that everything had been sustainably and fairly sourced.

If you picked up an apple, it would be from the nearest, most viable orchard; if you choose burgers, they would be locally produced from locally grazed cattle; and if it was February the tomatoes would be preserved ones – you’ll savour the anticipation of fresh ones when they’re back in season. In the meantime there’s winter stews to enjoy.

Wouldn’t it be great to shop there? I’d love to know that the money I spend isn’t creating hardship for a farmer – it’s generating livelihoods; it isn’t polluting the planet – it’s actually purifying water; it isn’t hindering future generations – it’s actively enriching the soil; and, in short, that we’re doing the very best we know that we can do.

That’s the vision we’re working towards, and that’s the vision GeoVation is helping us achieve.

So how do we do it?

We’re working on two complementary projects:

1) Foodtrade —  a business-to-business food trade network. It’s  really simple: if you’re a food business (of any size or type, from farm-to-fork) you tell us where you are and what you buy or sell. We’ll try match-make you with others near you. We also do a lot of other clever stuff, and we’ll be launching that soon.

2) I Want Better Food — a new type of campaign site where we help consumers and businesses work together to create a better food system.Image of the Website I want better food

The timing really couldn’t be better (unfortunately). The recent horse meat scandal has brought to mind, again, that we need to take more responsibility for our food.


Embark on a voyage of discovery with Foodnation

Foodnation, one of our GeoVation Challenge winners, is a mobile application and online marketplace where farm producers and growers can sell their weekly veg box delivery schemes directly to consumers. The Foodnation mobile app is a voyage of discovery for customers, making it easy for them to discover their nearest farm shop and veg box producers and farmers markets.

Foodnation will encourage customers to sign-up to the veg box subscription model because it encourages customer loyalty to their nearest farmer, an important feature when building a farm community and educating customers about food providence.


The Hertfordshire based startup gives veg box suppliers an opportunity to expand their reach and tell consumers about local farming events and their food. The farms manage their inventory and delivery, Foodnation handle recurring payment processing and orders, something which farmers are not necessarily geared up to do. Foodnation make it easy for farmers to start trading.

Says Louise, who is Foodnation’s founder :

The tractor was invented in 1892, farmers had to learn how to drive it to stay in business, in the same way today ecommerce technologies can help small farms reach new markets. We encourage farmers and their employees to learn what an RSS, XML and API produce feed is, and that it’s important to create one for their business. It is as important an invention for farmers as the modern day tractor was back then.

Foodnation will be testing their applications at the Abergavenny food festival and they have a few extra surprises and goodies up their sleeve for their mobile app launch in September so stay posted! Please join them on twitter for live updates: @food_nation