Inspiration

Imagine an Uber for Food: eBay and Gumtree work great and function simply in providing a service for connecting buyers and sellers for various products. Although, they are missing the categorical ability and specificity for trading in food. Marking the location of where a product is grown, as well as from where the vendor is operating (say a farmers market or a school car park) will allow for a change in human and social behaviour and an enhancement in keeping money local.

$8B of food is wasted in Australia every year, 33% of that being food that is still fresh. While this is happening, locally there seems to be much difficulty in finding fruit trees and veggie growers nearby that produce what is desired. Farmers markets are currently mostly offline, and the vendors limited in their alternatives for trading and advertising. Not having, say, fresh figs in the supermarket, and then going to the markets only to find that due to limited space that they have sold out, when you know there's got to be some around nearby - it seems to be an information issue mixed with a problem in small volume trading.

What it does

The key feature will be an interactive map with marks in and around a specified area for all of one’s favourite foods and vendors such that the user is able to select a number of products on the way to school, home, a friend’s house or work, and purchase everything one would normally buy at the supermarket but directly from the community.

Small-medium scale growers can easily advertise their produce and even compete for top spots on the search list by sacrificing a percentage of the transaction. Anyone that eats food can use Food Mark to search nearby for fresh local goods, rather than food trafficked from all over the world, sometimes perhaps even to the mainland and back.

How we built it

Food Mark was created from scratch with PyCharm - so that is HTML5, CSS and Python, with all the icons made in photoshop and adobe-illustrator.

Challenges we ran into

Understanding what it is we wanted and exactly how much of that we can produce under competition conditions.

Creating a homepage was a challenge, complete with a search bar and an interactive map, beyond just the header and footer setup with all the images and colour co-ordination

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The amount of RAW code produced in such a short period - with most other teams using premade themes and templates, we were surprised at how much we could produce starting with not even files or directories. Purchasing a server and rigging up the software for hosting was an entirely new thing, and it took some serious time and reading through of documentation to push through and get it up and running.

What we learned

The importance of wire-frames and clear communication in enunciating an idea from one's head into code. As well as the need for discussion and some mild repetition to understand the workings of our own minds in order to get to work effectively as a team and produce something meaningful

What's next for Food Mark

To complete the database structure and web-templates for multi-listings and single listings, as well as interactive j-frames for display and tailored search functions. We'll need to analyse local regulation for certain food products and perhaps even get in contact with government to confirm exactly what we are able to do and what kind of awareness the user needs and agreements they need to come to terms with in order to function appropriately to minimize risk - particularly with seafood and meat products.

We'd love to organize an interactive ability for the site in the sense of functioning Twitter and Facebook integration, eventually even producing iOS and Android applications for direct-to-device notifications, rather than the slight delay of a web-app / email system.

Perhaps even expanding to allowing businesses to advertise their secondary produce such as relishes or even restaurant meals - to try and provide an all-inclusive singular location application for food of all types. The more the user can find about their location with ease, the better for the local economy and the happier local business people are.

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