We are extremely excited to introduce Open Food Services – our new, worker-owned company!
Open Food Services will offer a range of services that build on Open Food Network’s mission to transform the food system. These include business development, research, software and website development, and much more. We will be sharing more about some of the work that we already do and are available to do very soon, but for now, we also wanted to tell you about why we formed Open Food Services.
We previously wrote about how changes to the way the international Open Food Network is organised gave Open Food Network Australia the opportunity to sit down and devote more attention to what’s actually happening on the ground in Australia. The international changes also meant some changes to where our money comes from – as international instances have matured they no longer needed as much support from us and instead were able to hire their own developers in-country. So in part, we were looking for ways to change where our money comes from.
We believe that to dramatically change the food system we need more than just a software platform. We’ve always known that, and the Open Food Network software platform has always been a flagship (but not our only) project. But we haven’t always explained that well to others. In the past we’ve done a whole host of other projects too, with varying degrees of public fanfare. We’ve run VicHealth-funded initiatives that have helped support local food activators start thriving community food enterprises in their area. We’ve undertaken bespoke software services – for example, we’re the developers who work on CERES Fair Food’s custom platform, including their new mobile-friendly site. We’ve undertaken business and community development for organisations. We’ve written research and policy reports. We wanted to use all of that experience and passion to do more work in the same vein.
So we used the moment of change to think about all of these things together. We had an incredibly skilled and experienced group of employees who care deeply about the Open Food Network. We had a new company that we needed to form. We wanted to get back to and build on our original mission of undertaking more of the tasks needed to build a new food system. And we saw that all of these things could come together into one beautiful package: Open Food Services, a worker-owned consultancy supporting the transformation of the food system.
We’re really excited and energised about the work that we have coming up, and look forward to sharing more of it with you. Check out our Open Food Services page for more information about what we offer. Have questions or comments? Get in touch with us.