The Open Food Network (OFN) is building an open source marketplace to connect farmers with local food consumers. The OFN aims to reduce the costs of food businesses, improve access to markets for farmers and increase the supply of fresh produce.
The project is supporting the development of the OFN platform and will explore how farmers and other stakeholders interact with the OFN to evaluate the effectiveness of the network in connecting and supporting sustainable regional food supply chains. The findings from this research will feedback into the development process allowing the OFN to be optimised to meet the needs of all stakeholders.
Central to the operation of the OFN are food hubs. A Food Hub is a business or organisation that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of source-identified food products primarily from local and regional producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail, and institutional demand. The food hubs connect farmers to consumers throughout the OFN. The network allows farmers to supply produce and consumers to browse and purchase produce. The OFN enables the different cost components to be made transparent to the final consumer such as 'how much did the farmer get paid?' or 'how much went to a logistics provider for transport or aggregation?'
The OFN will provide a new way for consumers to get food directly from the farm gate delivering a real return for agricultural workers and supporting the regional economy. The OFN is commenced operation in early 2015. For further information visit: openfoodnetwork.org
- Sherah Kurnia - Department of Computing and Information Systems
- Kirsten Larsen - Architecture, Building and Planning
- Prakash Singh - Department of Management and Marketing
- Serenity Hill - Open Food Foundation
- Rahim Md Mahbubur - Monash University
- Patrice Braun - Federation University
IBES Seed Funding
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