Starting out on your OFN journey

A food ‘hub‘ on the Open Food Network platform is a shop which sells items (to the public or other businesses) from more than one supplier.  It’s a bit like the OFN equivalent of a real market where you might have potatoes grown and supplied by Farmer A, bread baked by Mr B, tea and coffee imported by Mrs C etc etc.

Perhaps you are Farmer A him/herself and wish to sell your potatoes on OFN directly (as well as supplying a ‘hub’)? In which case you need to register as a ‘Shop‘ on our platform. The steps to opening up a shop are very similar to that of a hub (but, if anything, slightly easier!).

On the third hand you may be like Mr B- only wanting to use OFN to supply your baked bread to the local hub but not actually have a shop front on our platform- a ‘profile‘.  In which case the steps you need to take to set up are the easiest of all.

If you ever get stuck or can’t remember what a particular term means in on our platform then check out this very useful little glossary.

Registering your food business on OFN is simple.  Before you start you may like have a quick look at this video.

From registration to trading in 5 simple steps

Here we focus on the steps you need to take as the manager of an OFN Hub to set up your business on our platform.

Setting up an OFN shop or profile is even easier. Have a look at advice and guidance in our User Guide.

2. List your products. 

If you make produce to sell as well as manage sales then you can add or import your products to our platform.

Alternatively, if you only plan to retail items made by others on OFN then you need to make sure you have the correct ‘relationship‘ with your producers.

3. Set up a Payment Method

Set up at least one payment method so your customers can pay on delivery (cash, cheque or card) or you can opt for direct payment at the time of purchase via Stripe (credit card) or PayPal

4. Set up a Shipping Method

Whether your enterprise offers a collection only service (aka ‘click and collect’) or home delivery, let your customers know where and when they will get the items they bought by setting up a shipping method.

5. Set up an Order Cycle

Having an active order cycle will open your shop for customers to purchase items.

Congrats! Your shop is now Live!