Let's build a collaborative database that maps local food producers and allows them to reach new consumers.
The project aims at building a comprehensive database regrouping information about local food producers in order to promote local consumption and short distribution channels. This is to be done in two phases:
- 1 Consolidates existing databases originating from various sources and start a platform to collect up to date and seasonal information.
- 2 Propose a collaborative platform that allows users to complete data as well as a series of apps that make use of this information.
For the Open Food Hackdays, producers from Canton de Vaud are investigated. As a first step, a platform is created for farmers or food enthusiasts to collect and update the information. The database is linked to a map that allows for easy access. The map can be accessed on our homepage.
In order to support local food producers and to create new economic opportunities for them, we created [OpenFarm]. [OpenFarm] is an open database of points of production & sales (a farm, a market stand, a field), with up-to-date information about available products. This information doesn’t exist today. Consumers have to spend a lot of time searching for it, for example by calling the farmers directly. Having this information more accessible could promote healthier and more sustainable food habits and build a stronger community. It could improve the visibility & traceability of products. It could also provide a channel to sell less desirable products (smaller or damaged for example) and as such reduce food waste.
Local food products need a specific and crowd sourced database because:
- For fresh products, availability is highly seasonal and very dependant on weather conditions
- The points of sale have complex and variable opening hours
- The points of sale are very diverse: self pick in a field, market stand, …
[OpenFarm] answers the following questions:
Where can I buy the products? Is it in the field, in a shop, in the farmyard, in a market?
What is in season now and what is available today? What is the exact variety? Is it bio?
How much would it cost me? Is is cheaper that the supermarket?
When is it open? Do you need an appointment?
How does it works? Do I pick it myself? Is it pre-packaged? Cleaned? Minimum quantity?
The next steps
Currently, we assembled a list of 200+ points of sale by assembling various lists of producers. The data needs to be enriched to include information about the products sold, and needs to be made available with an API. In the next steps, our database could support the following apps. These could be a good challenge for a hackathon once the database is in place.
- An app that signals you that the strawberries in the field next to you are ripe and that you can pick them yourself. The app then takes care of the financial transaction.
- An app that helps you plan a bike route through local farms which have stands open on a specific date and time and that carry the vegetables you are looking for.
- An app that connects farmers and restaurants and helps cooks source their products locally. The app could take care of the delivery and payment.
- An app that allows consumers to rate the products as well as request products, so that farmers know the demand in advance.
- An app that allows farmers to sell products in advance and to set a (flexible) time and date for pick up. If the farmer knows when the customer will come, he can be more efficient.
Additional opportunities of the database:
- Identify gaps in local food supply (quantity, availability) vs. the demand.
- Identify gaps in local food supply (quantity, availability) vs. a specific location.
A project made with the collaboration of: