Yes, as a client you only see the webshop interface, but Linked.Farm is much more than that. For the farmers and entrepreneurs, it’s a strong (ERP) tool that makes their work in FarmToFork easier. Delivery notes, invoices, empties, organize logistics, purchases,… By developing strong digital tools, we make Farm2Fork competitive and collaborative.
A hub is like a family at Linked.Farm. It’s a webshop where people decide to build a Farm2Fork ecosystem together. It can be composed of farmers, eaters, customers, grocery stores, logistic entrepreneurs: they all meet on the webshop which cleverly redirects them to the right delivery or collecting moment, adapted to them. Every hub at Linked.Farm has its specificity: it can be a B2B cooperative delivering to local restaurants as well as a small local citizen initiative making farmers baskets in the village or a local (cooperative) shop purchasing from farmers. Or a farmer on his own selling his/her products online.
Unfortunately not, we would love to, but we have decided to concentrate on the IT platform to offer the best tools for farmers, shops and entrepreneurs at an affordable price. We believe we can be as efficient as the longer food chain and that we can achieve economies of collaboration instead of economies of scale. That’s why we focus on developing tools for collaboration amongst Farm2Fork entrepreneurs.
Yes, you are free to choose for as many delivery or collecting options you’d like. There are no restrictions. A webshop (complete assortment) can be divided in several delivery methods (part of the assortment, ex. All farmer that can come to the hub on Tuesday) with its own product assortment, margins,…
We want to change the food system and help farmers and eaters connect more easily. We want to enable family farmers to make a decent living out of their product sales. We firmly believe that, if farmers reconnect to their eaters again and if they make a decent living, their agricultural practices move towards agroecology. There is no ecology without economy, but the kind of economy we choose to have. Not an extractive one, but a fair and balanced one that does not harm our health or that of our planet.
You become a cooperant (and thus co-owner) of Linked.Farm by buying a share of 250 EUR (B-share). We ask you to keep that share for at least 2 years. Then you start your hub either for free or you pay a startup cost of 8.000 EUR because you need extra IT developments specifically for your hub and your % on turnover starts at a lower rate. Please have a look at the rates page. If you need help with any set up of a page, we happily assist you at a price of 100 EUR/page within the existing templates.
The maintenance costs are included in the fee you pay. We charge a SaaS fee. SaaS stands for Software as a Service. You are the co-owner of a Software developed for you and by you and your colleagues. For a single producer webshop, it is a fixed price of 50 EUR per month. For a hub, the percentage varies between 4% and 1% of your turnover with a minimum of 50 EUR/month and a maximum of 1.200 EUR/month. Please have a look at the rates page. All new collectively decided IT developments are included in this fee, except for the Linked.Farm Services, which are additional services offered to you. To make the webshop work, we will register a professional GSuite email address worth 10 EUR/month for the first one (included in the 50EUR/month), then 6 EUR/month for subsequent ones.
A hub can choose its own margin. The farmer / producer enters a price in the producer profile and every hub charges a margin on top of that. It is adjustable per producer, per hub, per delivery method, per… You run your own business as a hub as a grown-up. As long as you respect the producer price that is freely and fairly set by the producer himself. As a hub you can choose to charge additional costs, for example for delivery.
Farmers set up the price in the system and hubs charge a margin on top of that. Farmers have a unique profile whatever hub they are connected to and they decide whether or not they accept an invitation by a hub. When adapting a price in their profile, automatically the selling prices in the hub are adapted.
If you join/connect to an existing hub, no. We charge nothing for producers joining the platform. If you join as a Single Producer/Farmer hub, meaning you have your own webshop under your own name, then the Single Producer/Farmer rate applies and we will ask you to become a cooperant with one single share of 250 EUR.
No, you can work with as many producers, products, delivery moments,… as you want. The prices are transparent and the same applies for everybody.
We can estimate the cost for you if your requirement is very specific and does not match the other’s requests. We will make dedicated offers at 68 EUR/h + 21% VAT. If your request is not urgent or others need it too, we will develop it in the pipeline of other developments.
Yes, support and training hours are included in your start up. We hold your hand until you are ready to run. Please note we support hub owners but not the farmers joining that hub. This will be for the hub responsible to do. Our support in the normal set up is limited to the IT platform. If you need more support for marketing, social media, logo, … please revert to our Linked.Farm Services.
Of course, if you are facing a (extremely rare) bug, we will help you immediately. The support team will answer any mails at email@example.com. Only very urgent requests can be addressed by Whatsapp. You will find the details in the set-up mail of your hub. We encourage you to first have a look at our Wiki . Linked.farm provides its digital platform, undertakes to keep it operational at all times, and in the event of unavailability of all or part of it due to force majeure, undertakes to use its best efforts to restore the existing service as quickly as possible. For the application of this clause, a reasonable period of time is considered to be
- unavailability of major existing functionalities: (user and customer access to the platform, security breach compromising the hub’s business): 3 hours
- unavailability of existing functionalities essential to transactions with hub’s customers (payment, product loading, etc.): 1 day
- unavailability of existing minor functionalities (options for sorting products, modifying quantities purchased, etc.): 1 week
We have our hub meetings approximately every two months. Usually they take place online, but once a year, we gather all in one place. The platform is co-created by its users. All hubs can bring up ideas and we prioritize them together. This development cost is included in your monthly / quarterly fee and does not require any extra investment.
YES! We love to collaborate. We think it makes us all smarter. We have API’s with Mollie for online payment, with cash registers (Microconcept and Touch Systems), with Open Batra. We also developed blockchain within the Token project and are connected with European players within Smartagrihubs as Digital Innovation Hub. And of course, we also collaborate in the real world with other Farm2Fork players such as Voedsel-Anders and the Flemish Korte Keten Alliantie.
Every hub is responsible for the way it treats your private data. But we do recommend they use our Privacy charter so every hub can take care of your data. Although your client login is unique for all Linked.Farm hubs, the data are not shared between hubs.
We invite you to have a look at Antagonist : https://www.antagonist.nl/blog/groen-je-website-hosten/ We realize we have an impact on the environment with our activity at Linked.Farm but we try our best to raise awareness about it amongst our hubs and try to keep a form of sobriety when making technical choices in order not to overcreate data for data.
Our system uses the latest security features when it comes to storing sensitive user information such as passwords and address information. All communication goes via SSL to prevent third parties from being able to read any data. Our host continuously monitors the servers for any network attacks and blocks them before they become an issue and uses many features for security (e.g. 2FA, DNSSEC, HSTS, ...)
Every cyberattack will be different, but basically that responsibility is on our host (Antagonist). We use their "cloud," which they are responsible for. We ourselves do not have any infrastructure that can be attacked. What we do along our end is to take a full-backup of the database 2x a day so that in theory we can reboot on any other (uninfected) structure.
DNS is the redirection that happens from the domains to the IP addresses. All domains in our management we can quickly transfer to other infrastructures, but domains in the management of hubs themselves are going to be down for days/weeks until they make the necessary adjustments to their DNS themselves, because we don't have access to that.
No, not really but our goal is not for profit either. We believe we have a strong balance with our ‘Erkende coöperatie’ ‘Coopérative Agréée’. It means we respect the ICA principles. We are allowed to pay out max. 6% of dividends per year and one cooperant has one voice, whatever amount she or he invested.
Anyone can become a cooperant. Private persons or legal entities, anyone that wants to support our idea. We also leave it up to the hubs to decide with which producer they want to collaborate and if they want to establish a charter for joining. They can ask for the organic label, for example, or limit the number of km of distance between producer and eater. We believe every farmer or producer who wants autonomy in its activity can be welcome. We hope that, as such, we can rebalance the food system a tiny little bit in favor of the farmers, contrary to the main food system, where family farmers hardly get their saying. This also allows us to have multiple hubs functioning in their own way that are geographically close. We also refer to our Household rules for this.
We invite you to take a look at the definition here. Inspired by Michel Bauwens, we quote the Platform Cooperativism Consortium :
Platform co-ops offer a near-future, alternative to platform capitalism based on cooperative principles such as democratic ownership and governance.
Platform co-ops introduce economic fairness, training, and democratic participation in the running of online businesses.
Platform co-ops give stakeholders a say in what happens on the platforms.
Linked.Farm is not Open Source but all hubs and cooperants are co-owners of the platform. If the cooperative comes into financial trouble one day and needs to stop its activity, the Source code will be handed over to the cooperants.
Linked.Farm is owned by its users and stakeholders who are all cooperants. Amongst them are farmers, small grocery stores, impact investors, B2B merchants, private households,… We believe that, if we want to change the whole food system, we should have people representing all parts of the fair food chain we aim to build. The database of customers belongs to the hubs so even if you hand over your activity or change your software provider, the hub will be the keeper of the data, not Linked.Farm. Respecting GDPR, the hub should not hand over your private data to anyone else, unless they have your prior written consent.
No, we believe every farmer and every hub should have the freedom to manage their business or activity as they believe is fair for them. If we want to move towards a more resilient and ecological food system, the first requirement is that farmers and producers can make a living out of their production. There is no evolution possible towards agroecology if you cannot pay your bills at the end of the month. So, we insist that a farmer, producer or hub makes its own decisions and diversifies its business. Depending on one customer solely is a very unhealthy situation for a farmer, producer or hub. The more diversity on their sales channels, the more (bio-)diversity on the fields. Of course, we hope that a farmer or producer who stands eye-in-eye with his or her customer, will adapt towards more agroecology but we want to work on offer and demand, with a push-pull strategy.
You are free to go at any time. We will not charge you any penalty for that. We just ask you to respect your fellow cooperants by paying your open bills and all costs incurred for emails, services,… Please note that, even if you stop as a hub, we ask you to remain a cooperant: for a B- or D-cooperant to keep your shares for 2 years and for a C-cooperant for 4 years minimum.
- Have a look at our starterskit. Of course we help you along the way. Find out more on our website about the hub formula that suits you :
- Single Farmer/Producer (one farm/producer/store with only your own assortment)
- Hub: multiple farmers and producers deliver or gather products together and interact with each other. Within the hub formula’s, you can choose between ‘Start Small’ and ‘Think Big’. Find out more here.