Interns set up OFN food hubs

This post is to celebrate the work of the interns who have worked (and in some cases are still working) to support local food projects in joining the Open Food Network.

If you are one of these interns or part of the project which benefited from an internship, please tell us here about your experience.

If you are interested in working as an intern or with an intern, tell us what you are looking for and we will help facilitate it.

There are lots of local food projects who just need a bit of help to set up an online shopfront. There are lots of people who want practical experience of making short-food-supply-chains work. There is funding that we can help you apply for which will pay some of the set up costs and a stipend for the intern.

In addition (or as an alternative to outside funding) once the shopfront is trading, a proportion of the income from the online food hub can be used to pay the intern until the intern hands over to whoever will be managing the shopfront in the long term.

Thought I’d just take the opportunity to celebrate the hard work of our OFN intern Raph. She was fantastic and without her hard work and time Cultivate would not be live on OFN, she really was a fantastic help - we even got her selling a few veggies down on our stall! It worked well as we were able to just tell her what we wanted and she sorted it, making sure we were able to understand how it all worked too.

Overall a great experience and Raph has enabled our little food co-op to reach more new customers and take one more step to improving the food system in the local area. Hurrah!

From: jack lawson []
Sent: 17 July 2017 09:33
Cc: Katie-Louise Herring; Hannah Fenton
Subject: Re: Raph

Hi Nick,

Thanks for getting back to me. An estimate of your time would be great.
In terms of feedback:
We found yours, the development team and Raph’s support invaluable. The initial morning with you clarifying our needs and how OFN could meet them was great. The initial preparation you did with Raph must have been thorough because as soon as she arrived she hit the ground running and actually needed very little input from us. Raph was able to listen to our ideas and put them into action and was incredibly proactive in problem solving/pre-empting.

All the best,

Jack Lawson | Logistics, Sourcing and Finance Manager
Cultivate Oxford |

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@Garveymo @Raphdlp :point_up:

At West Midlands Country Markets we are in the process of establishing food hubs that pick up goods from our markets. We have been greatly assisted by the work of Molly Garvey, who came to us as an intern. She did a good job getting us up and running and we were sorry to see her go at the end of it. I can strongly recommend hosting an intern as a way forward in establishing a hub. I think the experience worked out well for all concerned.

Thank you @KatieCultivate for your positive feed back, it was a pleasure to be involved in your project and to work with your team !
Regarding my internship, I’ve been living in Oxford between April and June to help Cultivate to set up a profile on OFN and to provide an online service for customers to order local produce. I was also carrying out research work about food hubs for OFN France with @Myriam.
This internship has been a very good experience which confirms my professional project. I’ve learned about the problems of the current food system but also about how to provide a more sustainable alternative to this system.
If you would like an enriching internship and if you’re interested in sustainable food, feel free to contact @Nick and the OFN team :slight_smile: A good experience is waiting for you !

Thank you again for this internship !

Thanks to the OFN for arranging my internship with Country Markets UK.
The above @garveymo comment demonstrates how closely we were working together - even sharing OFN community accounts!

The experience was a rewarding one and allowed me to address real-life challenges in the area of small-scale food provisioning and community building.

The OFN UK team were open, supportive and encouraging. Take this chance to work at the very forefront of sustainable food networks!


Go Local promotes locally and sustainably produced food and supplies shops local to Axminster with locally produced food - see For the last 12 months we have been keen to convert to an Open Food Network system. However, due to lack staff time and resources we have been unable to do so. We would warmly welcome an intern keen to spend time at HALFF and help us develop our OFN shop front and OFN system. If you are interested, please get in touch.

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Interesting that there is different software to help producers.

But, Bucky Box have not so competitive than OFN.
Bucky Box is more expensive than OFN and has these drawbacks:

  • not so much flexible as OFN:
  • no relationship with other producers.
  • The customer can replace some product from their sharing/box. Some customers take of carrots or potatoes while this is the base of a box… For the producers it’s not easy to manage…
  • Clear differences between local boxes from the farm and other products. But this other products are really difficult to order for the customers.
  • Difficulties to manage customers list. (manage by customers number and not the names)
  • Some customers are members (£10 per year) and receive 5% discount.
  • Some customers work for the logistic. They receive 30% discount.
  • Customers can be also in credit. I think that is not a good idea, the aim is to help producers…

The farm (Banc Organic) where I was:

  • they are waiting for the subscription function before use OFN (± April 2018).
  • before, they need to discuss the transition (membership, products offer).

Future prospects for OFN:

  • a membership function.
  • subscription function.

I’m working online with Banc Organic for the transition at the moment.


They are really interested in OFN.
They start to manage the shopfront.
They would like to be in contact with a milk producer or more in St Davids.
I’m working with them online at the moment.

Hi @theodore thanks for all your work and for your report on Banc Organics.

One thing that you can set up for them now is the membership function. OFN uses the tagging tool for this - more detail here. Basically you just need to tag customers as members and then either set up a payment method (visible only to members) which reduces the cost of the members’ basket or products with reduced prices which are only visible to members.

Let me know here if you need more detail on this

Thanks again for your help

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Some good news from Raph…
Hi there,

I had my defence regarding my internship. I had a really good mark. So I want to say thank you to the Cultivate team, the OFN team and the GFO team for this enriching experience !

I hope everyone is doing well :slight_smile:

Have a good week-end

…and Theo has now gone back to his home country and set up an agreement between Oxfam and OFN in Belgium for Oxfam to deploy OFN there as a basis for their 70 shops to have online shopfronts to distribute local food.

Nice work @theodore :slight_smile: