Ooooby is an acronym for out of our own back yards. We are a food distribution service, for customers wanting high quality local and natural food, on a mission to make local food easy and fair, and we’re looking for more growers. If you grow food, then read on, and if you know someone who grows food, then please forward this article to them.
Ooooby is building a community of discerning customers who greatly value knowing where their food comes and how it has been grown. They want high-quality, nutrient-dense, locally-sourced produce, and they trust us to find it for them.
Ooooby exists to make local food easy and fair for these customers, and many more like them. We’re working to deliver great produce to our customers in towns and cities across New Zealand, Australia, and even California. The relationships each local hub has with its growers is central to how we operate. We want to work with and support smaller growers, and especially those using regenerative, sustainable farming methods.
Five steps to becoming an Ooooby grower
- Is there a values fit
- How much can we buy
- Trading with Ooooby
- Crop planning
- The formalities
1. Is there a Values fit
We are keen to work with growers who share the values of Ooooby and its customers.
While we understand that there is a range of possible production methods, we choose to favour produce from growers who pay attention to the well-being of the environment, and the people who eat the food.
Natural and Local
The horizontal line in this diagram acknowledges that there is a continuum between organic/biologically grown produce and that grown using a more industrial and chemical approach.
We categorise production as one of four types:
- Certified organic
- Self-certified organic
The vertical axis represents local at the top, and “Far, far away” or long-distance food at the bottom.
While we’re not always there, Ooooby is making a concerted effort to push into this upper left quadrant – and source as local and naturally grown as possible.
2. How much can we buy
We are setup to be able to take relatively small quantities of produce, and with hundreds of customers we are also capable of taking good volumes too. With several years of packing fresh produce at the Auckland hub we can make an estimate of how much we can buy from you. We’re not in a position to offer guarantees, so it’s important that you also have other routes to market. This will ensure you have some security and that we have a healthy relationship even if we can’t take all your produce.
3. Trading with Ooooby
Though we are not focused on being the cheapest online food service, prices are important to Ooooby customers. Our mission is to make local food easy and fair everywhere, so we’re looking for fair prices. We mark up your cost to us by 100%, so you receive 50% of the retail price the customer pays.
We agree together on what is a fair price for produce delivered to the hub, and you arrange and pay for the delivery.
We will call you on a Tuesday to find out what you have available in the following week, then send you a firm order on a Friday, for delivery on Mon or Tue of the following week.
Quality Expectations & Feedback
Ooooby is all about aligning the interests of growers and consumers of food. We’re all after the same thing – ensuring that customers get their hands on good quality fresh produce at prices that are fair for everyone.
Because our customers cannot pick and choose from big containers of produce (as they can at most stores and markets), they rely on our growers and our hub team to do this job for them.
Getting quality right week after week is a challenge, and we aim to work in partnership with our growers to ensure that the produce that arrives at our hub in Auckland is up to the job.
What is good quality?
Produce in an Ooooby box has got a tough job to do. It has to look good and taste great from the moment it arrives at our hub, and then go on doing so, for anything up to a week after it arrives with our customer. That’s no easy task, but one that we at Ooooby are dedicated to. We want to work with you to agree standards of quality that will work for us all, and an approach that will enable us all to deliver it week by week.
In Auckland the produce can arrive on a Monday, or by 6:30am on Tuesday, and there are coolstore facilities if needed. Timing and facilities will vary from hub to hub, so you’ll need to speak with the supply coordinator at your nearest Ooooby hub (see the contact list at the end of this article).
You provide us with an invoice on the day of, or the day following delivery and we will process that and make payment eight days after the packing day (Wednesday of the following week).
Prompt payment is core to our operation.
We promote you
Each grower or producer has a profile on our website at www.ooooby.org/auckland/people
This gives the customers some understanding of where you are based, what you are offering to Ooooby, how you grow or make it, and any fun facts about you and the people you work with.
4. Crop Planning
It’s helpful to learn what you are planning to grow, and we might be able to make suggestions if you are looking for some guidance, and it’s important to know that we cannot enter into contractual agreements to guarantee that we can or will purchase product.
5. The formalities
If you’re interested in supplying Ooooby with fresh produce, the first step is to send us a little information about what do you grow, where and how you grow it, and something about you (your story).
Here is an online form to make this easy.
Once we receive this, one of our crew will be in touch with you. Our goal is to visit each of our growers and learn more about their business and seek out opportunities to be of support. We honour the fact that you are the ones growing the food and without you we go hungry – or at least are forced to buy lower quality, long-distance produce.
Ooooby Grower Contacts
Ooooby Auckland: Jan Gardner – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ooooby Waikato: Claudia Hurford – email@example.com
Ooooby Tauranga: David King – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ooooby Taranaki: Ursula Bill-Teitink – email@example.com
Ooooby Christchurch: Ashvin Goburdhone – firstname.lastname@example.org