About the Food Data Collaboration

The Food Data Collaboration is building on the work of the Data Food Consortium in France, aiming to create an infrastructure that empowers local producers to list and sell their produce across multiple platforms seamlessly. We are working to nurture diversity at scale, foster collaboration over competition, to support farmer-focussed, community-led food systems.

Supported by The National Lottery Community Fund and hosted by the Open Food Network UK, OFN UK and partners aim to make good, sustainable and affordable food a possibility for all through collaboration of digital platforms in the community food sector.

On this page:

Our Vision

  • A world in which all food is produced agroecologically.
  • A world in which everyone working in food systems, from farm to fork, works with dignity and respect, earning a fair living with decent working conditions and rights.
  • A world in which every meal is truly nourishing for people, families and communities, and is affordable and accessible for all people.

Our Mission

  • We will increase the amount of food bought and sold through farmer-focused supply chain models. Farmer-focused supply chain models increase producer margins and create more and better jobs for food system workers.
  • We will reduce barriers to deeper collaboration. Expansion of farmer-focused supply chain models has been limited as margins are tight, meaning creating good livelihoods, and accessible pricing is near impossible. In part this is because farmer-focused supply chain models often  don’t benefit from the economies of scale of conventional models.
  • We will work collaboratively to develop a common data infrastructure. Deeper collaboration can be achieved by enabling data to flow freely through the systems, while retaining control and ownership.
  • This collaborative infrastructure will benefit supply chains at multiple scales. We believe that diversity is key, meaning supporting appropriate scales from the hyper-local, regional, national and international. We draw inspiration from the Food Zones model.
  • This network of collaboration will ensure that all produce that the network facilitates to be bought and sold will be produced in line with our vision of a truly regenerative, fair and nourishing food system.
  • This network of collaboration will be managed through collective and common governance principles that will ensure the network is working toward the vision.

Governance Group

The Governance Group has the remit of steering this project from early inception, hosted by the Open Food Network UK, to an independent organisation managing these supply chain commons. The initial Governance Group is comprised of representatives from farmer organisations, retailer groups, policy and campaign groups and technical platforms. Members of the Governance Group are:

Our thanks also go to former representatives Tony Little (LWA), Natasha Soares (Better Food Traders) and James Woodward (Sustain) for their valuable contributions before moving on to pastures news.

Technical Partners

There are currently five technical partners in place – Big Barn, Cambridge Organic, Hodmedod’s, Ooooby and the Open Food Network UK – with opportunities for others still to come on board as work progresses. You can find further information about the open tendering process for new technical partners to join the project here.

The inception phase of this project was supported by a small group of key individuals from technical platforms that had demonstrated deep alignment with the original inspiration for the project. They are:

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