Some people/entities are intersted to build their private entrepreneurial project on the OFN software and/or sector development resources, but under their own brand, without entering a process of becoming a local affiliate. They want to be totally independant on their project and don't want to follow the community rules that apply to local OFN affiliates.
It's OK. We definitely understand that, and even encourage it! We do propose those people/entities support, and invite them to join the community as associates so they can benefit from the community support.
The obligations of a white label user
The OFN software is open source, released under GNU Affero licence
You can use the Open Food Network code for your project/business. It is released under a GNU Affero 1 licence, which has been developed to ensure that modified code for online applications remains available to the community. It “requires the operator of a network server to provide the source code of the modified version running there to the users of that server. Therefore, public use of a modified version, on a publicly accessible server, gives the public access to the source code of the modified version.”
The OFN knowledge resources are open source, released under Creative Commons licence
Sector development resources such as marketing tools, research, incubation programs, trainings, case studies, consulting, etc. are released publicly under Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0 so they can be used by anyone for commercial or non-commercial use. If you build on those resources, you must share your production under the same licence so whatever you produce will also be publicly available and reusable by all. You must also gives attribution to the producer of the original resource.
The interest of becoming an OFN associate within the community
The code and knowledge resources are open source, you can use them for non-commercial and commercial use without asking us the permission. But we propose you to join the OFN community as an associate, so you can share with your users and community that you are Associate of the Open Food Network, and "play the game of the commons", so it's a way to testify to your community your are contributing to the commons you use, share our values, and are a member of our community. Also, of course we do our best to answer any community sollicitation, but we are not supermen and superwomen and only have 24h a day, so sometimes it's hard to answer all community requests. Being an associate, you have a closer relationship with the rest of the community and can benefit from being more involved in the discussions of the community. We believe you will gain more from having OFN experts around you, you will be more efficient. Find out more about what it takes to be an associate in the community pledge.
Supporting the deployment of a public OFN instance while building up your custom white label project
There are various ways to be a white label user of the OFN software:
You can support the deployment of an OFN branded "public" instance, managed by a local OFN affiliate, and build your own front end (standalone website, with your own brand) on it.
You can choose to stay connected to the master code but just do your own deployment on it with your own brand.
You can fork the code, do any adjustment independently, and deploy your own branch.
You will find in that post the pros and cons of each option.
The support we can offer
We regularly receive messages from people who need a marketplace to operate their food enterprise. Sometimes they have a model with multiple hubs on a broad territory, sometimes it’s a more focused project. Whatever the scope and type of your project, the OFN might be a useful base to build on.
From all over the world, people have contributed for months, years, and have developped a specific expertise on the OFN code base and processes around how to set up a local instance and run your project on it.
We are super happy to share, support, empower people who would like to build their project on the OFN. Of course we can’t all always work for free, so depending on your project and your situation, we’ll orient you to the online resources that can help you and help you jump in the community. But if you need custom support from our team for your local deployment, we will ask you to contribute financially to the shared global operation costs. Contact us for any request or question.