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Category: How can Britain feed itself?

Could you be a GeoVation winner?

By , 12 April, 2013 8:00 am

GeoVation funding can help to get your innovative ideas off the ground.   We’ve recently published some case studies in which GeoVation winners, explain what happened after they won funding, and how they developed their ideas.

For instance, Foodnation were awarded funding in our ‘How can Britain feed itself?’ GeoVation Challenge.  Foodnation’s mission is to have neighbourhood Foodnation hubs within bicycle-riding distance of most households in the UK. It provides a platform to connect customers and farmers in their local area easily and allow them to make transactions to buy and sell local organic food and find fruit and veg box-delivery schemes around the UK. The idea came from Louise Campbell, who after receiving funding was able to set up the company in March 2011. screenshot of foodnation website

After securing funding, the first steps in the project were to obtain the data and build a platform for transactions to take place. The pilot website was thoroughly tested and feedback fed back into the development of the site.

Continue reading 'Could you be a GeoVation winner?'»

Geography and Supply Chain Integrity

By , 18 February, 2013 8:00 am

With the current focus on the integrity, resilience and sustainability of complex food supply chains – the journey food takes from farm to fork – this post looks at how three GeoVation winners and two GeoVation suppliers are challenging the status quo using geography and geographical information.

GeoVation “How can Britain feed itself?” challenge winner Foodnation : The People’s Digital Co-op has a mission to have neighbourhood Foodnation hubs within bicycle-riding distance of most UK households. It provides an on-line platform to connect customers and farmers in their local area, easily enabling them to buy and sell local organic food and find fruit and veg-box delivery schemes around the UK. This is supported by the Foodnation app launched in May 2012. Working with the Transition town network to pilot the scheme, Foodnation founder Louise Campbell sees the model for the Foodnation Co-operative as being fully scalable in transition towns across UK.

Continue reading 'Geography and Supply Chain Integrity'»

How geography and innovation can help build food security

By , 6 February, 2013 9:30 am

Our GeoVation challenge “How can Britain feed itself?” explored the role  geography and innovation can play in an agroecological approach to local food and farming. The emphasis is on building food security and sovereignty through connecting people to locally and sustainably produced food and farming. Geography is about the relationships between people, place, processes (natural and man-made) and planet and is therefore intimately connected to the land and how we use it. Our GeoVation Food Mapping Workshop explored how geography and geographic information can be used in local food and farming.

The links of geography to agro-ecological approaches to food and farming were again apparent at the excellent Oxford Real Farming Conference 2013 on 3-4 January. An ambitious programme covered numerous innovative developments in agroecological approaches to food and farming, from: policy to practice; collaboration and sharing business models for accessing land and production; and crowd funding for financing new initiatives.

Farmers, the world over are very innovative, but knowing whose doing what and where and what resources are available, is important in spreading good practice, knowledge and expertise rapidly. Technology, including social media, and geography is beginning to address that particular challenge. Our GeoVation challenge winners City Farmers, illustrate that in the conference  map they produced.

City Farmers Map of Delegates at Oxford Real Farming Conference

City Farmers map delegates at Oxford Real Farming Conference

Continue reading 'How geography and innovation can help build food security'»

GeoVation supports food based innovation

By , 18 October, 2012 8:00 am

Last month, Ian and Chris from the GeoVation Team, were part of 2 day Wired for Food hackathon which challenged teams  to look for innovative ideas to change the way the world finds, grows and eats its food.

The event  sponsored by Forum for the Future, the Cabot Institut and Ordnance Survey,  was held over 24 hours on 21- 22 September at the University of Bristol, and challenged  designers, developers, coders and food experts to find solutions for a more sustainable food system.

Photo from hackathon

Data sets from Ordnance Survey and AMEE were on hand to help to develop prototypes. Ordnance Survey’s GeoVation  funded awards of £500 for ‘Best use of OS OpenData and ‘Best solution to a real problem’, to help nurture ideas into a fully-formed business plans .

The event was organised by Hugh Knowles and James Taplin of Forum for the Future to draw attention to a food system that they believe is currently unsustainable. ‘We wanted Wired for Food to build networks, spread the word about interesting challenges in the food system and help demonstrate what technology can do to help solve these with simple working prototypes. ‘ explained Knowles.

Continue reading 'GeoVation supports food based innovation'»

GeoVation winner Foodnation launch new website .

By , 17 September, 2012 8:00 am

Foodnation, who are one of our 2011 GeoVation ‘How can Britain feed itself?’ winners, have just launched their *Brand New* location based website  and app  The website can help you to discover where to source local food from suppliers in your area.

  • It’s location based!
  • You can search via town, county or postcode
  • Discover farms, organic food from local farmers’ markets and farms, find fruit and vegbox delivery schemes and much more near you
  • Search what’s in season and where to buy it
  • Share your favourite listings with friends!

Image of the Foodnation website

Continue reading 'GeoVation winner Foodnation launch new website .'»

New book with mission to explore food

By , 5 September, 2012 8:00 am

Lin to Mission Explore Food Book websiteMission:Explore Food is an activity cookbook that challenges children to go cannibal, cook in acid, make chocolate poos (including nuts and sweetcorn), ask the Queen for a swan and work out the best way to slaughter a lamb.

The book, a collaboration between 2 of our 2011 GeoVation Challenge winners Mission:Explore and City Farmers is billed as one of the most controversial and yet important cookbooks ever written for children and families.

Mission:Explore Food has been created to tantalise children’s taste for adventure and tests their understanding not only of where their food is from, but also of where it goes once they’ve finished eating.

“A children’s book that asks them to question if the pig they are eating has ever seen the light of day, make scary soup and keep a poo diary might sound controversial, but it’s vitally important that children think about their relationship with food and have fun while doing it. We all appreciate that children should know how to cook and eat well, but these are just two chapters in the story of our food. Unlike most children’s cookbooks that ignore the rest of the food cycle, Mission:Explore Food includes activities that encourage children to learn about growing, harvesting, waste and soil as well. An essential ingredient is appreciating that their/our choices affect people and places around the world too.” explains Daniel Raven-Ellison, one of the authors. Continue reading 'New book with mission to explore food'»

Foodnation launch VegBox Raydar service

By , 16 May, 2012 8:00 am

In this guest post our 2011 GeoVation Challenge winner, Louise Campbell explains about the latest addition to the Foodnation product range.


The VegBox Raydar service is the latest addition to our range of products for Foodnation website customers, and provides results of their nearest veg box suppliers, and allows customers to compare information before they buy, wherever they are. Available from the Foodnation homepage.

The VegBox Raydar service allows customers to compare multiple suppliers so they can choose ones nearest to them, information is available at your fingertips 24 hours a day.

Since launching the new VegBox Raydar service, Foodnation have inundated with requests for information. The Foodnation mobile application provides VegBox Raydar users with the suppliers data, the results are then emailed to the customers.

Continue reading 'Foodnation launch VegBox Raydar service'»

Foodnation launch Free Android app

By , 11 May, 2012 8:00 am
In the guest post below, Louise Campbell of 2011 GeoVation Challenge winner, Foodnation, announces the launch of their free Android app, so now you can find your local produce wherever you are.
Foodnation android app

Foodnation are hugely  excited to announce the launch of our FREE Android app. The app can be used on all Android phones and tablets, and producer locations and can be accessed directly via our postcode field, using GPS from the homescreen, without having to login, making the app super easy to use and launch from anywhere.

Additional app features allow users to share favourite producer locations to twitter and facebook easily, the app will pre-fill information on which producers details you would like to share, making it easy for Facebook and Twitter users to share their favourite producers with friends, on their own wall and timeline and Twitter feed.

It has been hugely enjoyable and a great privilege to design the Foodnation Android application. The opportunity to invest the funds which GeoVation awarded us inspired us to produce an accessible and elegant application that we hope will be well received by new and existing and future app users.

Continue reading 'Foodnation launch Free Android app'»

Launching a GeoVation Challenge on Mission:Explore

By , 11 January, 2012 8:00 am

GeoVation winner’s Mission:Explore will be announcing their support for a new GeoVation Challenge and a brand new Ordnance Survey “Viewpoint” reward, both aimed at supporting children, families and schools in using geography in innovative ways.

During a presentation at the BETT Show on Saturday 14 January Alan Parkinson from Mission:Explore will start the GeoVation challenge badge-geovationwhich will ask children to identify a food related problem in their community, think of a solution and come up with a plan for executing it.The best plans that also make use of Ordnance Survey mapping can win a slice of funding to help turn them into a reality.  Children in Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 can enter by doing a series of three GeoVation missions on Mission:Explore to win a GeoVation badge and then completing and entry form.

Alan will also be sharing a brand new Ordnance Survey ‘Viewpoint” reward. Made up of missions that are located on nearly 800 viewpoints across the UK, children and families can log into Mission:Explore, find their nearest viewpoint and win points  by submitting evidence of their explorations. The missions encourage young explorers to discover other people’s points of view, to identify (in)visible things, create interpretation panels and much more.

Now launched – find out more

Local farms seek real food lovers for fruitful relationship

By , 21 December, 2011 8:30 am

In a week Christmas will be over and the New Year will be nearly upon us. How about starting 2012 with a resolution to buy locally produced food? The benefits are savings on packaging and food miles and you can add some variety by trying new varieties of ‘seasonal’ food.Foodnation app

‘How can Britain feed itself?’ GeoVation Challenge winner, Foodnation have now launched their retro-appeal Foodnation Android app making it easier than ever to locate your local farm and subscribe to a produce box scheme.

Combining the mobile app and website, Foodnation aims to help foodies find their local farm using OS OpenSpace. You can browse your farm’s tasty produce in the online marketplace. Then, using the secure e-commerce section, it’s easy to buy a one-off gourmet box or register for weekly or fortnightly produce boxes.

Foodnation also works well for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) schemes. With several already on board, it’s easy to find your local CSA and get involved through buying an ongoing subscriptions/share in its produce.

Louise of Foodnation says:  Our farms offer delicious produce, which is not only seasonal but offers more choice in plant and animal varieties.  Foodnation is all about making produce box schemes convenient for the consumer. We hope we’ve made New Year’s resolution No.1 that little bit easier for people to commit to.