Sharing something of OFN's successes in the UK

Following a brief conversation in our fortnight dev update hangout on Thursday @danielle asked me to write up a quick summary of the very exciting uptake of OFN in the UK…

  • Tamar and Stroudco continue to enjoy how much better OFN is than the old software that we had been struggling with for nearly 10 years. Tamar turned over more than £1,000 through OFN in just one week earlier in October.

  • Several of the Stroudco producers are in the process of setting up their own shopfronts

  • Several new users have opened shopfronts. These include a farm shop in Glasgow; a veg box scheme in Somerset, a food hub in Devon and farmers’ markets in Kent and Oxford.

  • The Sustainable Food Cities Network is promoting OFN and already Oxford and Preston have taken it up. Good Food Oxford has taken on an intern from St Peter’s Uni who is working for 12 weeks to set up OFN with various enterprises in Oxford. She is signing up producers and setting up market shopfronts.

  • Preston is one of three cities which are applying for funding to pilot local food enterprises in areas of socio-economic disadvantage powered by OFN. We are applying for additional funding to write up the experience of these three enterprises as an action plan to offer to similar areas wanting to use OFN in the future.

  • The Eden Project has a project called Big Lunch Extra. The national coordinator of this programme is very excited about OFN and wants to offer it to their 1,000+ network of community activists UK-wide

  • The National Union of Students is funding student groups to set up farmers markets (supported by the Soil Association) and food hubs (supported by Sustain) in universities. Both Soil Assoc and Sustain want to offer OFN as part of their support packages.

  • Kent Farmers Market Association has opened its first pilot OFN shopfront to offer a click and collect service to augment the market. When this is successful they plan to roll out OFN to all 50 markets in Kent.

  • Country Markets are planning to recommend OFN to all their 300 markets at their national conference in February

  • A Stroud contact who has witnessed the success of OFN is doing a USA lecture tour for the biodynamic associaiton. He will include OFN in his presentations in New York and Los Angles. His blog is here


This is inspiring! thank you for sharing :slight_smile:

oh and I forgot to mention the Black Mountain Food Hub who have set up in the station buildings at Llandeilo station on the Heart of Wales rail line. there are 31 other stations on the line and several community groups around other stations are talking about setting up Hubs. the plan is to use the rail line for producers to put produce on trains, hubs to take it off, sort it and put it back on a train to deliver to pick up points at all 32 stations - all using OFN!

absolutely amazing! :slight_smile: you guys have done such great work

so inspiring!! you guys are awesome - thank you :slight_smile:

very little of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the vision to set up OFN in the first place and the amazing Aus team that carries on making it even more world-changing. Thanks to you too

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Latest UK developments:

Several Stroudco producers are upgrading to have their own shopfronts. The first to go live is our local vineyard, Stroud Brewery coming soon.

Our contact at the Federation of City Farms and Gardens wrote this in an email to the rest of his management group “…Nick and I also had a quick chance to catch up in more general terms about OFN and how I think it could make an excellent opportunity to help push our Growing Together ‘Local Hero’s’ campaign. OFN is all about opening up access to better food and supporting community groups to take action… I think we could create a simple and effective PR partnership opportunity with GT & OFN (we have lots of member groups, we want to push and promote ‘local heros’ – they have lots of groups using OFN, but want and need more). So can I suggest / request a face to face meeting…”

We have had similar enthusiasm from FARMA

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…and the other big news is that OFN UK is now earning income from user fees because some of the UK shopfronts have been trading for more than six months (we are offering a 6 month free trial shopfront). More detail on how our charging structure works here


thank you for sharing this document @NickWeir - very pertinent info for the Scandianvian instance :slight_smile:
and congrats on earning income on fees!

latest news is that OFN has been picked up by the Sustainable Food Cities Network who published this article

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There is a TV interview about the launch of OFN in Preston here and details of a webinar hosted by the sustainable food cities network in Feb here - this also includes details of an intern who might be working with OFN UK and OFN France @MyriamBoure in April

here is our latest shopfront who seems very aligned with OFN values

and here are some of our plans for January:

  • 4-5th Jan - 2 presentations at the Oxford Real Farming Conference

  • 12th January - launch of OFN Preston and training 5 new hub managers and producers

  • 18th Jan - meeting with Food Plymouth and several local food support groups keen to make Plymouth a ‘Beacon OFN Food City’ - also training a new shopfront there

  • 26th Jan - running a acrion planning workshop on Anglesey paid for by Menter Mon who are also paying OFN UK to set up 5 markets and 30 producers on Anglesey on OFN

  • 31st Jan - meeting the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens who want to offer OFN to all their members


wow! this is amazing :slight_smile: you guys are an inspiration!

Awesome work @NickWeir! Thank you for sharing all those info, that is definitely an inspiration :slight_smile: