Open Food Network UK

From the early days of Folk Labs we’ve had an interest in how expanding local food systems can benefit local economies. Building on our Transition Towns roots we did some exploratory work with Transition Totnes on defining a foodhub system for them in 2013. This changed direction due to a change in the core team but at the same time we connected with Nick Weir, who founded Stroudco Foodhub and was looking for a much improved technical solution to replace their aging software.

A collaboration formed between the Stroudco, Dean Forest and Tamar Valley foodhubs to use the Open Food Network software, an open source project developed by an Australian team. This led to the creation of Open Food Network UK, a social enterprise helping local foodhubs with an advanced digital platform for running their hub operations and regular order cycles.

We have made several contributions to this, including DevOps work on supporting the OFN UK server infrastructure and improving the Ansible scripts to build new servers, as well as features and improvements on the core Rails codebase.

It has been very rewarding and an amazing learning experience working with an international community of developers, designers and passionate food activists and seeing the project grow in scope and reach. We’re proud to have contributed to this important project.

Software:

  • Ansible
  • Shell
  • Ruby on Rails