Selling food directly from farm to fork (or perhaps with a short detour via a food hub!) has many benefits. But it also presents a few challenges. How do you move food, without it costing too much – either in time or money? We decided that it was about time that someone tried to figure this tricky problem out. In 2021, we’re piloting Open Road to try and do just that.
We’re coordinating a network of farmers, food hubs, and social enterprises to work together on logistics. The first experiment we’re running is for two on-the-ground delivery loops in Victoria. One will be running up and down the Hume Highway, working with hubs like Strathbogie Local, Wangaratta Farmers’ Market Hub, and Beechworth Co-op. The other will be running out to the south-east, working with hubs like Baw Baw Food Hub and Prom Coast Food Collective. Both loops will bring produce into Melbourne hubs and buyers, and will pick up produce to take back out to the regions. We will be using this pilot to also understand how software, sharing resources, and collaboration between farmers and food enterprises can underpin better logistics options for a fair food system. We’re starting this pilot with the hope that what we learn here can be scaled and introduce in other regions, first in Victoria, and then across Australia.
Are you a farmer, food producer, or food enterprise in one of our two pilot regions? Or are you keen to see something like this in your region? Work with us to try new things! As a first step, we’re keen to hear what your logistics needs are. Please complete this Expression of Interest form so that we can get in touch and start figuring out how we can help, and how we can shape this pilot project to meet your needs.
The Open Food Network are working on the Open Road project is about supporting local short food supply chains and they want to hear from both farmers/food producers and retailers/wholesalers/cafes in the Hume region. To get involved and have your say go to:- https://about.openfoodnetwork.org.au/project/open-road/