OFN - Software vs Organisation


After an exciting discussion with @MyriamBoure about the infrastructure like properties of software, I was asking myself what actually the main strategic goal of OFN is. Is it the creation of the Spree based ordering system, or is it the building of a global network for the promotion of buying local and keeping food supply chains short? Given just the name I would tend to the latter, as human ‘networks’ basically consist out of social contacts and only secondarily out of technique.
The first functionality that becomes obvious when accessing https://www.openfoodnetwork.org.uk is it’s map. And it seems that for many users that’s already enough. It is very hard to find an open hub on the map. Most of the icons just contain URLs of farms and such.
So why not use this functionality to connect to other solutions for food distribution that came to stay? It might be wise to fully abstract the map from the underlying distribution system and use technology that was created just for this mapping approach like teikei.
As diversity is one of the key factors for sustainability on all levels, it’s probably very wise if OFN would mirror this principle in it’s organizational structure, what would mean to treat other solutions equally to it’s own technical development.
There are a lot of good tools out there and I am not sure whether it was the best choice to put all on ‘Spree commerce’ when attempting to build a less commercial economy.

Here’s another very interesting thread from @wvengen about the collaborative approach, which drifted away into technical questions. In my view the main question is more in the scope of organizational development and only on second sight technical.

What should our Categories be?

Yep @yova I think you got it :slight_smile:

Look at Making OFN an open directory for all the local/sustainable food ecosystem which was a previous discussion on directory.
It’s just that we are not enough to open all those files at the same time but YES we want that map to list all the ecoystem of independant and regenerative agriculture oriented food hubs, whatever the tools they use.
I started in France to connect with some people who wanted to do that but I quicky understood some difficulties of building up to date directory sourcing info from various different sources, as mannually entering and maintaining such a directory would be tons of work and not really sustainable. That is one of the use cases we envision as well with the Data Food Consortum project, it would means that through that open shared API we could access info on hubs on various platforms and display them in a shared map.
But we could probably start also with more manual stuff, but it needs someone to really do a deep inception about how this map would work locally but at a global scale, how do we manage specificities of locals (like we have AMAP in France but other names abroad, or initiatives like Food Assemblies which are only in certain countries), do we have one single global map with shared filters or should be “localize” the filters and then how, etc. Design and UX. Then we need to know technocally how to do, ideally we would like to create profiles for all info we either enter manually or source through API from other plaforms / databases, but we need to maintain them up to date and this needs a whole thinking as well on which processes we set up.

But it could definitely be more decoupled from the current OFN app!

So if you know people who would like to join our community and carry on that project that would be really great :slight_smile: I know lots of networks in France who would be interested.

About @wvengen post this is exactly what Data Food Consortium is about :slight_smile: Food plaforms interoperability!


Yes, difficult questions to solve. Quite randomly we have a intermapping workshop this week in my home town. This evening at 6 MEST we offer a global community call! You’re invited!


WIP : Improve OFN Map / directory

I just checked https://github.com/teikei/teikei
Nice! That’s definitely a project to keep in mind as OFN advances on the mapping side of things.