Geography and Supply Chain Integrity
With the current focus on the integrity, resilience and sustainability of complex food supply chains – the journey food takes from farm to fork – this post looks at how three GeoVation winners and two GeoVation suppliers are challenging the status quo using geography and geographical information.
GeoVation “How can Britain feed itself?” challenge winner Foodnation : The People’s Digital Co-op has a mission to have neighbourhood Foodnation hubs within bicycle-riding distance of most UK households. It provides an on-line platform to connect customers and farmers in their local area, easily enabling them to buy and sell local organic food and find fruit and veg-box delivery schemes around the UK. This is supported by the Foodnation app launched in May 2012. Working with the Transition town network to pilot the scheme, Foodnation founder Louise Campbell sees the model for the Foodnation Co-operative as being fully scalable in transition towns across UK.
GeoVation winner Foodnation launch new website .
Foodnation, who are one of our 2011 GeoVation ‘How can Britain feed itself?’ winners, have just launched their *Brand New* location based website and app The website can help you to discover where to source local food from suppliers in your area.
- It’s location based!
- You can search via town, county or postcode
- Discover farms, organic food from local farmers’ markets and farms, find fruit and vegbox delivery schemes and much more near you
- Search what’s in season and where to buy it
- Share your favourite listings with friends!
Foodnation launch VegBox Raydar service
In this guest post our 2011 GeoVation Challenge winner, Louise Campbell explains about the latest addition to the Foodnation product range.
The VegBox Raydar service is the latest addition to our range of products for Foodnation website customers, and provides results of their nearest veg box suppliers, and allows customers to compare information before they buy, wherever they are. Available from the Foodnation homepage.
The VegBox Raydar service allows customers to compare multiple suppliers so they can choose ones nearest to them, information is available at your fingertips 24 hours a day.
Since launching the new VegBox Raydar service, Foodnation have inundated with requests for information. The Foodnation mobile application provides VegBox Raydar users with the suppliers data, the results are then emailed to the customers.
Foodnation launch Free Android app
Foodnation are hugely excited to announce the launch of our FREE Android app. The app can be used on all Android phones and tablets, and producer locations and can be accessed directly via our postcode field, using GPS from the homescreen, without having to login, making the app super easy to use and launch from anywhere.
It has been hugely enjoyable and a great privilege to design the Foodnation Android application. The opportunity to invest the funds which GeoVation awarded us inspired us to produce an accessible and elegant application that we hope will be well received by new and existing and future app users.
Mapping the Future of Food and Farming
We are delighted to be hosting the Mapping the Future workshop at the Oxford Real Farming Conference on Friday. We’ll explore the challenges mapping can be used to address, with innovative examples and contributions from local food and farming pioneers including contributions from City Farmers, Food Nation, Sustaination, GeoFutures and Ordnance Survey.
We worked with the Campaign for Real Farming and Agrarian Renaissance when we launched Geovation’s “How can Britain Feed Itself?” challenge in June 2010. As a result we were delighted to be able to seed fund two innovative ventures, Food Nation and City Farmers that are using geography to help address sustainable, local food and farming. You can read about their ventures here on the blog.
Building on interest in the role geography can play, we held a Local Food and Farming Mapping Workshop, together with Tasting the Future at Ordnance Survey in July and produced this report from the day.
Local farms seek real food lovers for fruitful relationship
In a week Christmas will be over and the New Year will be nearly upon us. How about starting 2012 with a resolution to buy locally produced food? The benefits are savings on packaging and food miles and you can add some variety by trying new varieties of ‘seasonal’ food.
‘How can Britain feed itself?’ GeoVation Challenge winner, Foodnation have now launched their retro-appeal Foodnation Android app making it easier than ever to locate your local farm and subscribe to a produce box scheme.
Combining the mobile app and website, Foodnation aims to help foodies find their local farm using OS OpenSpace. You can browse your farm’s tasty produce in the online marketplace. Then, using the secure e-commerce section, it’s easy to buy a one-off gourmet box or register for weekly or fortnightly produce boxes.
Foodnation also works well for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) schemes. With several already on board, it’s easy to find your local CSA and get involved through buying an ongoing subscriptions/share in its produce.
Louise of Foodnation says: Our farms offer delicious produce, which is not only seasonal but offers more choice in plant and animal varieties. Foodnation is all about making produce box schemes convenient for the consumer. We hope we’ve made New Year’s resolution No.1 that little bit easier for people to commit to.
Foodnation – Sell Produce Boxes Online
Foodnation’s website is open for business and you can be amongst the first to access it.
You can add your farm, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) or veg box scheme to the Foodnation map (which is using OS OpenSpace) and reach 1,000’s of potential customers ready to subscribe to fresh food deliveries in your area. If your local farmer is already registered you can find and buy from them.
Looking for a straightforward website to help sell produce box subscriptions? Foodnation’s new e-commerce website and mobile app – co-developed with Ordnance Survey – do exactly that. Geovation readers have been offered exclusive access to www.food-nation.co.uk.
With Foodnation, it’s easy to buy from your local farmer or vegbox scheme. If they’re registered, you can choose from tempting seasonal produce and arrange a weekly or fortnightly box delivery. This means you can be one of the first to get mapped and start selling in time for Christmas.
You can also now download Foodnation for Android, and access Foodnation wherever you are.
Louise Campbell, Foodnation
How mapping can help local food groups
In July GeoVation, working with Tasting the Future, held a Local Food Mapping Workshop at Ordnance Survey. The workshop was attended by representatives from various sustainable food and farming groups, local authorities and universities. GeoVation Challenge winners, City Farmers and Foodnation also took part.
A report on the workshop has now been compiled which captures the views of the participants of the main problems they are trying to solve such as:
- Understanding and promoting local food;
- Addressing the demand for land and access;
- Enabling collaboration;
- Fragmented distribution of local food.
And suggests solutions as to how mapping could help address these.
It includes summaries on the presentations made by food mapping innovators and links to further information on the demonstrations of OS OpenSpace®, OS OpenDataTM and other data sources. There are also some useful comments on how the workshop could be scaled out to groups.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the workshop. We had some great feedback from you.
‘A very good group of people. An enjoyable and useful day.’
‘The workshop was a stroke of genius!’
If you would like to find out more about what happened at the workshop click the picture below to open the report.
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.
“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.