The story behind Eggplant
In the past few years, a lot of organic food coops have sprouted all over Denmark, driven by committed volunteers and their passion for sustainable and high quality local produce. All based on the same, simple concept: To deliver locally sourced organic produce at fair prices through communal volunteer effort.
Today, the food coops have more than 3000 active members who not only buy local organic foods but who are also directly involved in all of the logistics moving vegetables from farm to table. Together, we want to create a strong, local and resilient food system that is a vital part of a transition to a sustainable society.
But as the food coop movement has grown, we have found that the food coops share a number of challenges: There is a lot of manual administrative work in ordering the weekly fruit and vegetables, in coordinating volunteer shifts and collaborating with local farmers. Most food coops use a opaque mix of Google Docs, wiki pages, online banking, printed checklists and typing up orders by hand.
That is why 16 Danish organic food coops have joined forces and have received a grant from the Danish Foundation of Organic Agriculture to build an open source membership platform for organic food coops and other, similar member-run organisations.
The initial goal for the project is to build a functional core system and establish a thriving open source community of developers by the end of 2015.
The project kicked off with a workshop on April 11th 2015, with more than 20 developers present.
Why make an open source project?
The food coops have been based on an open source approach from the very beginning. We have freely shared all of our knowledge and experience online in order to make it as easy as possible for others to start up their own food coops. And that is why we want to build a membership platform that everyone that can use and develop as they see fit.
To us, open source software is sustainable software. The more people who can understand, use and contribute to the development of the platform, the stronger and better it will become. And that is why we invite all interested developers to participate in the project.