Community Pledge - v2.0 - May 2019

There is a sense that we need to review the Community Pledge v1 as our community evolves, adds new products, and iterates on the pledge process that has now been in effect for two years.

Section 12 of Community Pledge v1 outlines a procedure for reviewing the pledge:
“This pledge is currently closed for review and suggestions. It can be reviewed upon request by opening a thread on the community forum. At least 3 Affiliates need to agree that there is a fundamental need to review the document before any modification can be passed on.”

Current affiliates as accepted by the community in V1 are listed below, are there three of you who would like to review V1 of the pledge?

Thanks @Jen for opening that thread ! As discussed in global gathering many of us shared some needs to evolve the pledge. We listed the things we felt some need for improvement in the notes from the global gathering session here.
So yes in the name of Open Food France I agree that we need to evolve the pledge and we are already working on a new proposal that we are going to share soon !

Thanks all. Yes I agree there is a need to review the pledge on behalf of OFN UK :slight_smile:

I agree that we need to review on behalf of OFN Australia :slight_smile:

There is now a draft version of the new pledge for review by the community. Please find it at:

At the moment it is set so that anyone can comment rather than edit directly. Please review, it is open to comments for the next two weeks (until 8th October). :slight_smile:

For those affiliates who have signed on to the pledge since this conversation started, please do join in. @Bevan @DavidGiovannini @Permakai @gary @Cultivate_Bailey @satya @jimohabdullahi

Hi folks, there have been some comments already raised on the document - it’d be great if people could chime in with their thoughts. Some are small, and others are larger. I’m copying a few of the larger ones here so that we can capture discussion more easily:

  1. Re this section “Any product created by an OFN Affiliate under the Open Food Network banner will be published under licencing consistent with the above. In the case of a local Affiliate winding-up, all OFN-related intellectual property that has been created by that Affiliate will transfer to another OFN Affiliate, or the Open Food Foundation (Australia).” @Kirsten has said ‘EVERYONE needs to check, read, consider and positively agree to this.’

  2. Re Section 7 " Branding guidelines for Affiliates.
    Affiliates are authorized to use the OFN brand and derivatives, under the following conditions:

  • They have the choice to choose their own local brand, but they MUST communicate their OFN partnership / membership in communication material e.g. “Affiliated Member of the Open Food Network” visible on the homepage of the website, and clearly visible on any written communication. If their local brand is an obvious derivative of the OFN brand, this mention is not necessary but the belonging to the global community must be clearly communicated.
  • They are encouraged to choose a local branding as much aligned as possible with the global brand, to maximize the clarity of the OFN global brand and so that the local media coverage and activity reports can easily be associated and reused for the benefit of the global network. But given the subsidiarity principle, the local Affiliate remains free to choose its local brand.
  • We actively discourage local Affiliates to limit the use of the OFN brand or derivative to the software product only.
  • In order to keep a minimum of alignment between all the OFN brands, local Affiliates SHOULD use the global brand icon of the basket in their local brand design. We recognise that there may be a transition period for existing home-branded Affiliates." @Permakai has said 'I feel this needs to be much stronger. An affiliate is the representative of OFN in their region and as such should adhere to the global brand - logo, site appearance, etc. There should only be very limited freedom to chose their own naming and branding. I feel it is very important to develop a consistent global brand. This has a number of advantages:
  • easy for travelers and immigrants to find local food in each country
  • consistency of approach means less need for software variations
  • we become more attractive for sponsorship from large and/or international organisations
  • stronger feeling of belonging for members’
  1. Re sections on Affiliates and contribution to Core Commons, @Jen has said ‘I’m not sure where we should clarify (and if others agree that this is the case) that there is an expectation that Affiliates will not structure their organisation so that income-generation is held in a different company that doesn’t contribute to the Core Commons.’

  2. Re " * Affiliates contribute to OFN CC through a % of revenue and/or annual contribution and/or % of development budget and/or time / expertise. We recommend that a minimum of 20% of revenues is dedicated to OFN CC. The annual engagement is discussed with the community and communicated transparently on the community forum and budget management systems." @Permakai has said ‘I feel this is ambiguous and might be better worded as 20% of affiliate income.’

@Permakai has also contributed some really valuable insights of where something is a bit jargony or where we might need a more clearly articulated process or a change to process in order to make the requirements achievable (e.g. shifting global hangout times so that timezones not currently prioritised might make it more often)

Pledge signatories please review the google doc itself and make any of your own comments, but for these particular issues that may require a bit more discussion please chime in with thoughts on this thread (and feel free to pull any other comments out too)

I concur with the points above about branding. Strengthening the global community and brand is essential if we are to move forward on a collective funding strategy.
But I’d like us to clarify the expectation of a 20% contribution of instance revenues. In our case, for example, OFN-CAN has a mandate to take on activities in Canada that are only tangentally related to the platform (food system consulting, research). Money from these grants can only be spent on approved budget items, with very little flexibility. Several funders refuse to pay expenses incurred outside of Canada for example. We have pushed funders for an ‘overhead’ contribution - and when we can get it, we send what we can to the global pot — recognizing that we need to keep lights on here too. I have NO problem at all with 20% of our revenue from the platform going to global, and 50% of ‘overhead’ from grants also. But I think we need to recognize that revenues are all different - and some are tied to funding agreements that wouldn’t allow for 20% to move outside of the country. If we had a member of the dev team residing in Canada - that would help us meet this 20% across the board target, as money from grants could be paid to a Canadian resident.

Many of the funding sources (like the USDA and even private funders) that we might work with have these restrictions (very limited indirect and must be spent domestically). It’s a tough one unless we look for funding that originates in our country that is specifically earmarked for the global team.

Can we not just arrange for the invoices to have a US (or Canadian, or Catalonian as appropriate) address on them?

I am not sure that would make it past an auditor. They want to follow the paper trail all the way. I don’t think we are allowed to “launder” money unless we are billionaires.

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It is easy enough for someone to make up an invoice with a Canadian address on it - but it would need to be from a Canadian firm (with a business number and Canadian tax number) or an independent contractor with a Canadian Social Insurance Number. The payment needs to clear our bank account in Canadian dollars.

These discussions have now been incorporated into the V2 pledge: Community Pledge v2 - January 2020