Instance Managers Circle Meeting: Q3 2022 (Combined Agenda and Minutes)

# Facilitators:
Meeting 1: @lauriewayne1 @konrad
Meeting 2: @NickWeir

# Note takers:
Meeting 1: @berniemabbs
Meeting 2: @lauriewayne1

# Meeting times - two choices (pick at least one for your instance):

  • 19 July 10pm/2200 hrs UTC
  • 25 July 2pm/1400 hrs UTC

# Notes from last meeting: Instance Managers Circle Meeting: Q2 2022 (Combined Agenda and Minutes)

# Participants:

  • Australia
  • Brazil -
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • France
  • Germany - Konrad, meeting 1
  • Greece
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Jordan
  • Iberian peninsular (Catalonia, Spain, Portugal)
  • New Zealand - Bernie, meeting 1
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • Turkey
  • UK - Aaron, Nick - both meeting 2
  • USA - Laurie W, both meetings, Kent, meeting 2

# Meeting 1 recording:
No recording.

# Meeting 2 recording:
(recording here - click on circle arrows in upper right corner of the screen to switch views)


Basic and Core Instances Spreadsheet Link here - review for each instance:

  • status –welcome Hungary and congratulations New Zealand!
  • financial contributions to global: US instance at $0, there is one grant pending in August and there will be a small amount of money (but still as much as US has ever given); OFN UK: Q1 £32k, and Q2 £4k. Question: does pay for Lynn’s time for product (new role) count as a contribution to global? Answer: yes.
  • any necessary changes or actions
    Laurie to contact David T to organize financing your instance skill share and to fill out the instance status spreadsheet
    Nick to contact India team to fill out instance spreadsheet -


  • Invoices skill share Feedback from Konrad on recent Invoices skill share.
  • Pricing Brief discussion on pricing for Groups and group discounts. Reference to OFN USA Group pricing model. Question around the need for a discounted price given the current cost effectiveness of OFN user fees (for some instances, free) in comparison to other e-commerce sites.
  • White Label users Discussion around relationship between White Label users and OFN Instances e.g. a new OFN Hawaii and OFN USA, OFN NZ and interested local parties (in South Island and from new national gleaning network). Identity identified as an important issue for White Label users. Potential OFN brand and reputation risk should a group choose to use OFN name/logo. Recognition of the open source nature of OFN software and freedom of use. Question around conditions and trigger for country-specific OFN trademarks. Note process for OFN trademark application, takes 1+ years after filing. OFN trademark ownership with Open Food Network Foundation.

Country updates

  • USA: Laurie is standing down from the USA Instance Manager role over next few months - new Instance Manager to be in place by October. Laurie will stay connected to OFN USA and to the wider community albeit in a lighter capacity. Thank you to @lauriewayne1 for her invaluable contribution to OFN and the global commons - and for leading and coordinating the Instance Managers Circle. We will miss your energy and positivity!
  • NZ: The NZ platform is being upgraded to the most recent software version on Mon 25 July. Thank you to everyone that has helped to make this happen.
  • UK: Still looking for an official instance manager. Aaron is bringing sociocracy processes to the UK!


  • Funding Our Instances skill share (see Q2 IM Circle Meeting for details). @lauriewayne1 to follow up request with @dthomas
  • Shared non-global/non product development resources for short tasks like Zaps and other integrations (proposed by Laurie). Support for a request to OFN instances to share and leverage resources, including inventories of OFN tools that may help to streamline/automate admin functions e.g. script for QuickBooks downloads etc. Note bespoke solutions being deployed by different instances - as per recent Invoicing skill share. Nick to propose a circle or gathering to organize this function (see comment below - and the discussion in the recording starting at 20:30)
  • Inactive Instances Discussion on process for closing down an instance. Unsuccessful establishment of OFN Mexico with the coop shifting to an alternate platform. Suggestion to remove links from OFN global site/comms. @NickWeir could advise of any other OFN expressions of interest from Mexico (potential for someone else to take over). Process proposal post here. Nick also described the continuing history of the India instance.
  • Instance Managers Circle @berniemabbs has volunteered to coordinate the Oct 22 IM Circle Meeting in light of Laurie’s upcoming departure.

# NEXT MEETING: Quarter 4 - Two choices

  • 17 Oct 2pm/1400 hrs UTC or
  • 18 Oct 9pm/2100hrs UTC

Call for Agenda items.


For those interested in Group discounts, Canada provide a 25% discount for EFAO members for first year -

In the Instance Mangers’ circle yesterday we made two proposals. Here is the first one:

Background: There are several instances of OFN that appear to be dormant. They have no active shopfronts and in some cases are not deployed up to date. In some cases the map and/or other functionality is not working.
We are concerned that this is potentially a reputational risk to OFN and would like to be able to ‘mothball’ an instance in a way that makes it as easy as possible for others to pick it up and revitalise it in the future.

Here is the proposal:

  1. If any instance is no longer active we will ask them to put up a standard maintenance message that will say something like: “This instance of the Open Food Network is not currently active. If you would like to contact people who are interested in re-starting this instance please email To see a list of al active instances please see the Open Food network global site here
  2. We would like to add a point to the OFN pledge that says something like “if an instance is no longer active then the instance manager will put up the agreed maintenance message as a landing page. If the instance manager is not contactable then the global team will use superadmin access to put up this message”

Please make any comments on this proposal by 23rd August when we will implement the proposal.


In the Instance Mangers’ circle yesterday we made this proposal:

Background: There are people employed by OFN instances in several countires who have expereince of setting up integrations to link OFN with other software (eg accounting systems, CRM systems, etc). We would like to make sure that there is minimal duplication of effort and that instances without direct access to such amazing people can at least have the opportunity to contract with them for specific pieces of work.

We would like to see a global circle of people with experience of setting up integrations using tools like Zapier. The purpose of this circle would be to;

  • ensure there is no duplication of integrations globally
  • if there is duplication then to establish best practice for specific integrations
  • maintain a list of integrations available for use by all instances
  • be available to other instances globally who could offer paid work to people with integrations experience

Is anyone able to lead on the setting up of this circle? Who are the people with integrations experience who might be willing to move this idea forward? @Adam Holman? @Lynne Davis? who else?

I think there is a better route than a ‘circle for integrations’. Would y’all wait a few days for me to finish the proposal I’m working on and then perhaps we can discuss that alongside this suggestion?

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Thanks Lynne! Very excited to see what you are coming up with and learn how we can support this work.

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I put the process for mothballing instances in its own thread here: Proposal: Inactive instances - process for retiring, pausing, or shutting down - please refine, adjust, comment, or support there by 22 August 2022.