A new, open, community-driven Foodsoft platform

As you know, the Foodsoft hosting at app.foodcoops.net will end this month. But what does that mean?

Benni, who maintained the services over the last years, has no resources for it anymore. Caused by that the current app.foodcoops.net will be shut down and all food co-ops using that service need to find a new hosting provider and transferring their data to them.

We, a small group of people from various food co-ops consisting of Willem from the Netherlands, Patrick from Austria and André from Germany see the problem and suggest the following.

For German and Dutch food cooperatives (and others)

We want to develop a sustainable process where the users of the Foodsoft-using food cooperatives are maintaining and developing the infrastructure and their software. Basically the online ecosystem needs to be driven by these folks instead of unknown third parties.

We are interested to work with you to build an open, community-driven and centrally hosted Foodsoft platform, which will be in place for existing and new food co-ops. This not only involves the software! It’s also about bringing the people from the cooperatives together to exchange information, discuss topics and help each other. The new online platform will help us to do so.

What we need and expect from each group

  • A permanent contact person plus a fallback person to be able to get in contact with your food co-op easily (that needs to be part of your co-op task list).
  • If you have members in your group that are interested in information technology, please ask them if they want to contribute to the central platform to bring in their skills.
  • A (small) fee to pay the hardware, electricity etc.
  • Helping to create a forum where the members of various food co-op discuss topics, answering support questions etc.

The next steps (for food co-ops which do not want to use the Austrian hosting)

  • The current hardware and infrastructure (at app.foodcoops.net) will be shut down, therefore we have to migrate your data to our new systems.
  • Very Important To-Do: You have to send an email to foodsoft[ät]foodcoops.net (plus CC to transition[ät]foodcoops.nl) that your group wants to transition as laid out here. Tell your group name which can be identified by your Foodsoft internet address e.g. https://app.foodcoops.net/schalottchen. The group name in this example is schalottchen. The email should contain the title “Transition (your group name) to foodcoops.nl”. If you don’t send an email, you agree that no data will be handed over to us.
  • Co-ops, which agreed to the transition, will be migrated and hosted by a new IT team which is currently forming (Willem, André and more). Please send us an email to transition[ät]foodcoops.nl if you want to join. The transition will start end of July beginning of August. (The current Foodsoft will be hosted until we migrated everyone who contacted us.)

For the Austrian food cooperatives

In Austria an alternative hosting provider is already set under foodcoops.at. It will be maintained by a working group of the upcoming “IG FoodCoops” and therefore integrated in the same structure, which will be used for all other food co-op related issues in Austria. Martin and Patrick from Austria are already in contact with most of the Austrian cooperatives since months and cleared up the process for most of them already.

If there was no communication about the Foodsoft transition yet, please contact them via info[ät]foodcoops.at with the wish for transition. If you want to continue with your existing data (users, suppliers, articles, …) you need to write a mail to support[ät]foodcoops.net with the wish for handing over the existing data to Martin/Patrick from Austria and put info[ät]foodcoops.at into CC if you haven’t done it yet.

It’s also possible for non-Austrian food co-ops to use the infrastructure, but it will cost €2/user/year. The money which exceeds the hosting costs will be used to promote the idea of food cooperatives (e.g. with flyers, discussion forums) in Austria.

Why is there a different hosting for Austrians and others? Austrian food co-ops already built an environment, processes and infrastructure which works basically how we wish to have it on a global level. The Austrian platform is a national platform, which provides various tools, like Foodsoft (ordering and more), Discourse (forum in German) and others, and may provide information of interest specifically for the region or country. So we can learn from the Austrian groups.

We hope that helps, Willem, Patrick and André