在线食品零售是为了回应Covid-19而爆炸。这转向在线代表了改变销售和物流的巨大机会,以便农业生态农业可以再生我们的世界。在这款客人博客林恩戴维斯来自开放食品网络explores technical infrastructure that can support a diverse and vibrant ecosystem of solutions to transform food and farming.

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Online has long been a place for agroecological produce to find alternate routes to market. From box schemes to food hubs to community food projects, groups have aimed to reduce their overheads through an online sales presence. These groups have carved a cosy niche though overall food retail was amongst the last bastions of traditional retail unconsumed by the online revolution. Amazon, who can deliver almost anything you could think of, have struggled to make inroads into fresh and perishable produce. Supermarkets were trying, by paying staff to walk around supermarkets, pick produce and home-deliver, which essentially meant absorbing huge costs previously borne by the customer. Ocado was the first to make it work with automated packing technology, enabling the company to grow to 1% of food retail market share. But in general online sales remained marginal. They just weren’t the habit, with shoppers saying they wanted to see and smell the produce themselves.


Then, of course, the pandemic changed everything. Suddenly the internet was a lifeline for many self isolating as well as those whose work and caring routines changed dramatically. Almost overnight online shopping for fresh food and perishables became the norm. Statistica reports that now over half of us purchase some food or grocery items online, an increase from only 14% in 2019. At the same time across the agroecological sector everyone experienced enormous demand. Not only have the number of producers selling online increased, but so have the number of places to buy and sell online. Never have there been more food sales platforms out there in the internet wilderness.

If competition continues to be the driving force in this wilderness we will all lose. Food producers will lose with the overhead required to create products and maintain stock levels across myriad different platforms. Tech platforms will lose by constantly trying to outcompete each other with the next new feature. Society will lose as huge investment will be spent reinventing different features and solutions in all the different platforms – investment that would be better spent elsewhere. And of course the big players want to retain their share, and have more capital, marketing budget and reputation power to wield. The story we’ve come to expect is that the biggest players will use this power to dominate, resulting in market concentration that is bad for the economy and society overall. If we are going to tackle our 21st century challenges we need a diverse and interconnected ecosystem of innovators and business models that will enable a mass transition in the way that we sell and distribute food as we transition to agroecological farming.

If competition continues to be the driving force in this wilderness we will all lose. Food producers will lose with the overhead required to create products and maintain stock levels across myriad different platforms.

为了支持这种多样化的生态系统,我们需要适当的基础设施,符合自然系统符合农业的具体需求。农业生物农业鼓励农场充满活力,生活多样性,因此需要基础设施,以支持较小的收获,更多多样化的作物和更多的经常种植间隔。我们需要基础架构来使此类产品能够轻松访问可靠的市场。我们需要启用更多样化,更依赖于规模经济的市场,更响应自然波动。随着气候变化使我们的收获甚至不那么可靠,势头只会增加。我们需要能够灵活地销售产生的产品,跨越真正服务于社区需求的多个商业模式,平台和网点。我们需要一个生态系统,确保供需可以不断平衡,但没有控制供应链的一个主导演员。这种复杂和不同的销售生态系统,履行和物流只能通过协作 - 可以互相交流的技术解决方案。关键是开放的互操作性标准。


互操作性标准“启用运营过程,潜在的交换和不同系统之间的信息共享”(参考). From rail infrastructure to internet protocols, interoperability standards have unlocked the potential of human collaboration. Interoperability standards can create resource efficiencies, such as in switching to standard micro USB phone charging across Europe to reduce waste. The UK government uses open standards to drivegovernment IT systems, as they “unlock the transformative power of open source software.” Open standards make it possible to collaborate. They shift impetus from closed systems of proprietary control toward an ecosystem of open source commons. Investing in and implementing open standards for interoperable food systems can unlock potential that we can’t predict. So how do we go about this?

One approach is to implement interoperability between food sales platforms. Work on open data standards for the food system is being pioneered in France by the数据食品联盟(DFC),曾在五个平台上开发了用于数据交换的本体论。我们在英国可以在他们的工作肩膀上掌握在这里食品销售平台之间的可互操作性数据标准。在初始探索中,DFC旨在使生产者能够在一个平台上传产品,然后在市场上交叉销售。股票级别可以跨平台维护,使生产者能够自信地销售较少数量的多样化产品。意图是,这将允许在线食品销售平台通过向生产者提供更多到市场的航线,为生产者提供更多的市场,并使更多不同的商业模式出现。


第二种方法是在分配物流中实施互操作性。越来越多的研究和投资继续进入这一点,但农业生态学的关键挑战是一个规模问题。在大规模的情况下,运输集装箱具有革命性的分销物流。容器装入端口到集装箱船上以越过海洋,然后在另一端卸载到卡车上。我们还没有将这种模式超越托盘规模以有意义的人类水平 - 家庭的规模和农业的持股。

With interoperable physical infrastructure, opportunities open up within interoperable distribution itself. Delivery vehicles from all companies could distribute goods in line with needs. With a commons of infrastructure we can start to achieve the efficiencies of coordination in the deliveries themselves. Coordinated supply logistics can reduce unnecessary trips, reducing emissions. It can also help to create visibility over distribution patterns that will allow for better design. It allows for a small, diverse set of businesses to achieve the same economies that Amazon can with their monolithic logistics infrastructure.

它允许small, diverse set of businesses to achieve the same economies that Amazon can with their monolithic logistics infrastructure.

The agroecological movement is well placed to pioneer such collaborations. Effective collaborations are key not only in the sale and distribution of goods, but in the movement and reuse of packaging. And they will be key in the face of upcoming technologies such as driverless cars to ensure they are accessible to everyone, not just elites that use intellectual property to concentrate wealth and power. The technology already exists to create effective solutions. What is needed is clear investment, leadership and commitment to driving commons-based approaches. We need smaller actors to pioneer effective solutions that put collaboration before the needs of individual organisations. And we need sufficient investment to implement these solutions. This shift toward collaborative, commons based approaches is key if agroecology is going to become mainstream.

开放的英国美食网将召开conversations in the coming months to explore collaborations in open data standards for UK food systems. If you would like to be kept informed about such conversations please在此留下您的电子邮件地址。

威廉希尔中文网站维持的可持续农业团队william hill中文网站希望支持这项倡议,作为其工作的一部分,以探索重新设计食品供应链和基础设施的方法,包括数字工具和平台,因此他们更好地支持农民。

威廉希尔中文网站william hill中文网站可持续农业政策: Sustain encourages integration of sustainable food and farming into local, regional and national government policies.


Lynne Davis.
CEO & Product Manager, Open Food Network UK

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