Developing open data standards
for the food system
Why ?


With the development of foodtech, more and more services are being managed through digital tools: production monitoring, land management, products catalog management, online sales via e-commerce tools, invoicing, accounting, etc.

Today, all these tools do not use common standards. Food system actors are confronted with the need for multiple data inputs, inventory management problems and many manual operations to compensate for the lack of cross-platform communication.

A concrete example

A farmer named Dave sells his vegetables to a food hub named "Earth Friends" which has a web platform (website), on which Dave manages his products catalog.
Now imagine that another buying group, "Eastern Farmers" also wants to distribute Dave’s products on its own web platform.
How does Eastern Farmers access Dave’s catalog? Today, the solutions are far from ideal:
1 - Dave must enter the same data on each platform, therefore loosing time and having to manage stocks and orders on different platforms.
2 - Eastern Farmers can source Earth Friend’s data and access Dave’s catalog. There are then problems of stock synchronicity (problems of errors due to delays in stock updates), data reliability and security.

The solution: interoperability. What is it ? It’s pretty awesome. To avoid complicating operations when the same product is distributed on several platforms, they must communicate effectively.
We are not talking about synchronization or data exchange, simply cross-display of data that can be hosted on any database. The data is not replicated, just displayed, from the information directly drawn from the source database.

The advantages of interoperability


Time saving in data input and reliability of information regarding the availability of products in real time (stock). Producers and platforms can focus on their core business, production and sales. Interoperability also facilitates the implementation of new commercial relationships, sometimes complicated due to the incompatibility of tools.


An easier data sharing mechanism can facilitate transport pooling, answering both logistic and environmental stakes, two major issues in food distribution in general and particularly in small scale & local food supply chains.


By promoting cooperation among actors in the food chain, interoperability strengthens links and synergies within the ecosystem. This allows us, beyond the services and models offered by every actor, to work together to build an open and transparent food system that promotes the emancipation of both producers and eaters.


Data interoperability : human beings at the heart of digital platforms.

  • 1. Catalog

    Avoid multiple entries in producer catalogs, simply be able to connect to an existing catalog on another platform

  • 2. Orders

    Make orders clear, easily understood by producers regardless of the software used to sell

  • 3. Communication

    Communication between buyers and producers should be flawless.

  • 4. Transport

    The information to communicate to transport services should be clear and easily accessible (links with logistic platforms)

  • 5. Choose the right tool

    The producer should be able to choose the tool that best fits his needs for production and sales management, whether in limited quantity or not, through the food hub of his choice.


To implement the interoperability and allow products managed in the database of "Earth Friends” to be displayed in the online shop of "Eastern Farmers", these two actors must agree on a standard to describe products. The standard can be seen as a set of essential data that must exist to allow another platform to call this data.

If food data meets a common standard, it is then possible to develop an "food system connector" to allow the data to circulate. This "connector" will take the form of an API (Applications Programming Interface).

Data Food Consortium brings together representatives of various platforms and supply chain networks around the table to define together the taxonomy and standards on which we can build this interoperability and thus connect the different initiatives.


Our collective productions

You can follow the progress of the project through the blog and github project page

We have documented in this guidebook the whole standard specification, we will update it as we move forward. You will also find there about the status of the project, and where we are at with the development of the prototype.

Around the table

Members of the Consortium

Facilitator partners

Funding partners

Contact us at hello[a]

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