Moving on from 'Food, Unincorporated' for the new global site

Hi folks, as we edge towards new global site, I’d like to suggest that we take this moment to move away from the ‘Food, unincorporated’ tagline. I do think it’s valuable having a 2-5 word tagline that helps people understand us quickly.

For me, ‘Food, unincorporated’ is reasonably passive and doesn’t reflect the level of ambition we have for the project. I often find myself instead saying that Open Food Network works to transform the food system, so is that an option instead?

‘Open Food Network: Transforming the food system’

What would others suggest? (Keeping in mind that we are talking about more than the software platform as well)

As always, global communication doesn’t change how each instance communicates to their local audience, this isn’t something you have to adopt for your audience, it’s about how we communicate the global project.

Suggestions? Do you like ‘Transforming the food system’? What would make your heart sing if you came across a new project, and get you excited to join?

Totally agree about changing the current tagline.

My only thought going into this discussion @Jen is about audience.

Am assuming we have to have a slogan that works for all of them, right? So resonates with hubs, producers, eaters, funders, etc?

And if that’s the case my worry with the transforming the food system message is that it puts us in the front of stage again, rather than the supporting role. We’ve spoken a lot about how we’re the people helping the people who are transforming the system (target customer = community food enterprise).

Just my 2 cents, no other alternate messages come to my un-caffeinated, sugar-depraved mind right now but I watch on with excitement to see what the global community come up with :smiley:

Excellent point @danielle Maybe we can work our way back towards ‘the mycelium of food system transformation’! :laughing: as we always seem to. I will ponder some more and eagerly await others’ ideas

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It is the tag - Food. Unicorporated - that attacts the partners I’ve been working with here for sure. It already says we are transforming the food system - because the food system is corporate. It appeals to ‘alternatives’ (alternative farms, community food initiatives, not for profits that link players together…) So - even if we don’t use it nationally, it will remain the OFN-CAN tagline (at least until our board here says otherwise.). I find the word ‘transforming’ to be rather jargony and academic. If we are looking for something else - what about the tag: ‘We’re moving the food movement’ We use that elsewhere and it speaks to our support role, acknowledges there is an alternative to the current corporate system - so suggests our ‘alternativeness’, speaks to something in addition to selling stuff, is bold and has vision, speaks to partnerships, … (I’m curious why we don’t like Food. Unicorporated’?)

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Been thinking about this and I’d like more opinions. Interesting to note that the pros and cons of this tag line was discussed/debated first time around too —

As you guessed, i have strong opinions on this - which is why I’d like to hear others.

I’m not huge on ‘transforming the food system,’ personally. It sounds like corporate jargon. I also have issues with ‘Food. Unincorporated.’ since OFN is … incorporated as a non-profit, n’est-ce pas? Even at our local level, we’re a non-profit corporation, so ‘unincorporated’ doesn’t necessarily fit at the end-user level.

I’m going to throw “Growing, together.” out there as an option. It interprets on several levels - from farmers growing and coming together on the platform to the platform itself growing through the togetherness of everyone involved in development, testing, and onboarding to shoppers coming together through the platform to shift their food buying away from the traditional channels. And all of that, together, helps the movement grow as a whole.

So I’ll put that one out there for discussion. I’m currently part of the corporate branding committee with my main job, and we just went through this process over the last two months. So I’m curious to see how the discussion here compares. Remember, there are no bad ideas here except the ones that you don’t share. :slight_smile:

Hmm, I do not seem to have access to that topic you linked to, Theresa:

BUT: I like “Food, Unincorporated” possibly because it recalls to mind the movie “Food, Inc” which means a lot of our positioning work has been done for us by the film (if people have seen it). I also sometimes wonder whether the studio would ever take issue with the “Unincorporated” tagline from an IP/copyright standpoint. I also like “Growing, together” for the reasons @CLFC mentioned. I guess it’s important to come up with something pithy? I think a person could take a couple of minutes and come up with any number of good possibilities, but I would prefer to leave it with the professionals or at least people who came at it with what we want to convey, which is basically everything on the “values” page? I think many of the things @tschumilas says just in passing could also be good taglines, like “you already own it” and “food sovereignty that comes with software”

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I get the same message there Laurie.

hmmmm. not extremely strong views, but some thoughts

  • “Food Unincorporated” - issue of the fact that we are incorporated in many ways (non-profits etc) has always been there, but people still ‘get it’ as ‘not corporate’. I think this actually gets at something / is representative of the diversity of actors and enterprise forms we support and work with and are trying to propogate
  • both ‘transforming the food system’ and ‘growing, together’ could mean anything in the food system. Neither of them captures anything particularly ‘ofn-ey’ to me
  • just throwing in the mix the “community supported software” thing - @tschumilas is having success with this in canada, and we’re about to start rolling with it in Aus. I guess that only talks to the software though and we’re repositioning OFN as broader …
  • another thing - it has resonated with me when @tschumilas has talked about us being the tech arm of the food sovereignty movement. I wonder if some way of explicitly linking / drawing upon that?

I take your point about ‘food unincorporated’ being passive @Jen AND… I am starting to realise that lots of the OFN users that I come across do not identify strongly with OFN - it is what they can DO with OFN that they identify with and that part of what attracts them to use OFN is that there is not a strong corporate brand behind OFN. I can’t come up with anything I like better than ‘food unincorporated’ . I like the mycelium image a lot but I dont think it is widely recognised. Please can we have a slot in our Drome gathering to discuss this - I think we can be more creative face to face.

Love to link in via zoom to that face-to-face discussion when you have it (if scheduling is possible.) I think we can think of our various communities on a sliding scale (indeed all food system change efforts can be ‘placed’ on this continuum: on one end (I’d say left -but left and right aren’t what they used to be) are communities (users, partners, affiliates, community based organizations) who are actively engaged in building food system ‘alternatives’ and for years they have experienced co-optation by ‘mainstream’ players who talk the talk of sustainability, fairness… but this camp thinks that in the end all of this is just part of consumer capitlism and the buying and selling of stuff that pollutes people and planet. This camp thinks policy and political change is necessary to transform food systems, and that you can’t save the world by shopping differently. This is the food sovereignty camp. On the other side are communities that also know the planet and its people are in trouble and we need to change the food system. But this group thinks incremental change is better. They think that we can ‘use’ the power of consumer capitalism to save people and planet. We just need to sell and buy better stuff (more fair, sustainable, …) This is the ethical consumerism camp. (I know - simplifying a lot of complexity here) OFN communities (partners, affiliates, community food initiatives, farmers, hubs, buying clubs, eaters…) span this continuum. They all recognize the need for food system change and want to help get there. How can we appeal to them all without pissing off one side. So yes - we need to attract users who want to use the platform to buy/sell stuff (this is our bread and butter). AND yes, we want to use our tools and the brilliance of our community to work for transformative change (which has to move beyond buying/selling and shopping). So - what terminology appeals to both sides of this food system change continuum?

This phrase came up while I’ve been working on text for the UK Dev Hack:
“Powering food systems for communities”

Thought I’d share it :slight_smile:


Just an FYI: There is an app in my neighborhood called Food4All that is basically a shopfront that charges the customers up to $9.95 per order, and in their system it is billed as a “Community Supported Software Fee”:

The woman who started Food4All is a former marketing consultant with McKenzie, so her site is pretty interesting, messaging-wise.

This is an interesting model - they bundle gateway fees and platform use fees together. So the only thing the seller pays is the gateway fee (ie if they use cash or cheque, the seller pays nothing). BUT every ORDER is charged 2.5% + .95 to a max of $9.95. A $50 food order for example is charged $2,25 as a Community Supported Software Fee. Its called such to the buyer, and it goes directly to the software company. Of course, the consumer MIGHT be paying in our OFN business model - we just don’t know that. Its up to the seller to decide if they are passing that on. Anyway - I love the marketing optics here. They market to producers as a no platform fees system. Very nice. Have we thought about a business model like this anywhere @Kirsten? I guess in our current logic - it depends on the seller to set up the fees - so they’d have to put the ‘platform use fees’ into an order cycle.