Investigate OFS

Register hereTour and Screenshots (coming soon!)Demo the OFS softwareHistory of OFSNews about Open Food Products and Services

If you are new to Open Food Source software, you’re in the right place. This website provides a number of resources for initial assessment of the product as well as for ongoing help in using the product.

Overview of the Open Food Source (OFS) software

The OFS software is designed to manage ordering for organizations where many sellers are providing goods (typically food) to many buyers. Most commonly, this applies to on-line farmers’ markets and buying-club scenarios.

For all members of an organization, the software provides for new user sign-ups in any of various configurable membership types. Membership types can be established with different periodic dues or per-order charges. Members are automatically assessed renewal costs they first time they login after their membership period has expired.

For producer/sellers, the software provides an informational web page with details about their production style. They can enter any number of products, sold by quantity or weight, assign pictures to products, manage inventory to prevent overselling, view sales, and generate routing labels to see that their products reach the intended customer.

For buyer/customers, the software provides options to search for products, investigate the practices of producer/sellers, add products to their order, and select from available locations to receive their products.

Administrators are responsible for establishing the cyclic frequency of the ordering and delivery parts of the operation. They also manage delivery locations, assess charges and provide payments to producers according to the accounting system provided by the software.

Try the OFS Demo

This site allows prospective OFS uers to try an OFS demo version (v1.1.2). You can create a new account, or log into one of the existing accountsRead these guidelines about the demo before proceeding:

  • All accounts use the password “password” (without the quotes).  Please use this password when creating new accounts to avoid confusion.
  • All new accounts start as customer accounts.  You can create new producers from existing customer accounts.
  • We would like to retain any/all data you enter for future demo examples, so
    • do take the time to enter believable and realistic information, but
    • please do not enter real/private information (including email addresses)
  • Recognize that this is a public space: please do not post any inappropriate information or comments. If you know how, feel free to remove any such occurrences, or notify us of such occurrences.
  • Feel free to play: None of the orders posted to this system are binding. Create producer accounts, post reasonable products, order products.
  • If you are among the first to find this demo, there will be few members and product information. You will probably want to register a new producer and producer-admin (first as a member, then as a producer) and add some products.
    • A producer-admin must approve new products before you will see them in the product list.
  • An admin must set and activate the ordering cycle (see the site-admin tab) before you can order from the products available.
  • Feel free to use the master administrative account (username “administrator”) to approve and investigate other accounts, but avoid using it for the active purpose of posting products or ordering.  Please use separate customer and producer accounts for posting products and ordering.
  • Finally, please notify us if anything seems wrong or if you need further help using the demo.

Register to participate

Once you have evaluated the software, you may wish to register with this site for ongoing support. We are in the process of building a user community to share resources and help with common challenges.

When you register with this site, you will be required to answer a series of questions related to OFS. Here’s why:

  • Name: This is a default system requirement, but we want to know anyway. It helps with community.
  • Region: We want to know where you so we have an idea where you are considering operating an OFS installation. We might want to put you in contact with nearby organizations, and it is always good to know the geographic extent of usage.
  • Food Hub: If your food hub has a name, please let us know. It’s not a big deal if you don’t, but like in the previous question, it helps us know who is using the software and to help you better.
  • The other [yes/no] questions just help us know your situation better and provide better support. If you plan to use the OFS software, we really hope you will consider being involved, but it’s not a requirement.

History of OFS

The Open Food Source software was originally called the Local Food Co-op (LFC) software. The curious can read about the full history behind the software development project that led from LFC to OFS. Another version of the history can be found in an article at, and also archived locally.

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