How We Pay For It

We work hard to keep the Open Food Network’s powerful platform affordable and accessible. Your contribution helps us support and improve the system for everyone.

Farmers, Makers, Food Hubs, Markets:

We All Own The Open Food Network

We are a small team of mostly-volunteers committed to building tools for short supply chains and local food systems in the US, and we are part of a global movement to reinvent how communities feed and take care of themselves. Our code is Open Source and freely available to anyone to install, adapt and add to, but it does cost money to pay for servers and to compensate developers. The suggested fees below help us contribute to the international team that develops the software platform, the infrastructure our US platform runs on, and provide resources for us to spread the word about OFN and connect with new users and others who want to support our work.

When You Join the Open Food Network, You Get: 


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Flexible order cycles with customizable product lists per cycle

List an unlimited number of products in your shop

Flexible payment methods online and offline

Subscriptions, donations, variable pricing, and more


Complete control over admin and other fees transparently passed to suppliers or shoppers

Appear in OFN’s shop directory and national map…or don’t

Sell through other OFN shops for no additional fee

Management Tools

Reporting and product management that are made with food enterprises in mind

Easy integrations with Quickbooks, spreadsheets, email, and more using Zapier or bespoke integrations


No one is supposed to see this. If you are looking at the page and see this, please call 911!


Our Support Page is your jumping off spot, and it includes links to:

  • Email, text, phone, and peer support from real live humans
  • Live weekly “office hours”, live demos
  • Access to a global treasure trove of tips, tricks, and wisdom that you can use today

Meet and work with other producers and food enterprises in a global online community that can be as large or as small as you want

A Voice

You have a say in how OFN is managed and developed, including organization, pricing, product direction, and more

Join for a Season or a Whole Year

Is your enterprise nonprofit, mutual aid, led by community members who are Black, Indigenous, or Persons of Color, or otherwise historically excluded? Are you neighborhood-scale, or just starting out? We stand in solidarity with you! If cost is a barrier for you or your organization, please contact us to talk about reduced or alternative forms of contribution.

 Things to know

– New enterprises have a 30 day free try-out period.

– Season or Annual contributions are payable in advance and are non-refundable.

– A “season” is any four month long period you choose – start any time.

– Any farm or food business can create a profile without an online shop for free.

– Shops can require shopper registration or allow guest checkout.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Open Food Network is a global community of not-for-profit organizations sharing a common set of values and a dedication to ethical food enterprises and short supply chains. Here are a few of the questions people ask us a lot. If you have more questions, please ask!

Does OFN work in the US?

Yes! Even though the Open Food Network is active in 20 countries and counting, every country has its own currency, tax setups, and language. OFN is designed to work everywhere. One big advantage to having a global community is the wealth of co-created technical support resources available to you, like our famous user guide.

I work with immigrants. Is the Open Food Network platform available in other languages?

You bet! We have translated the platform in languages from Arabic to Spanish to Turkish. If we don’t have a language your community uses, we would love to team up with you to add it.

How do I get involved in the future of the Open Food Network Platform?

Thanks for asking! Please contact us – we have lots of work to do and we would love your help. We would also love for you to participate in decision making for the software and our organization. Let us know how you’d like to participate and we’ll welcome you with open arms!

How long has the Open Food Network been around? Will you be around next year? Am I making a good investment of time and money?

Ten years ago, Open Food Network was active in 2 countries, and today we are found in 20. Thousands of shoppers and enterprises all over the world run their businesses with OFN. We plan to keep growing and we’ll be around for a long time.

When you join OFN you are kind of a part owner in a way, so pitching in financially is a way to increase the likelihood that OFN will be able to offer the platform in a sustainable and ethical way far into the future, while keeping it waaaay less expensive than any comparable platform.

I heard it was free to use the Open Food Network. What’s with the prices on this page?

We would love it if we could have continued offering our world-class platform without asking for help! Servers cost money and we know the only sustainable way to keep the platform reliable and improving is to pitch in to the global commons and to start to compensate our core team. As a nonprofit, our goal is to keep costs low and quality high, and your financial support makes that possible. We don’t take any of your money without you giving it to us voluntarily. User contributions are an important part of the funding picture for the Open Food Network, though we still need to fundraise to compensate staff, spread the word, and cover costs for communities who just aren’t in a position to contribute the full amount.

Can OFN help me raise money for our operating expenses and to pitch in to the community?

We never take a fee or percentage from your shop, but we can help you add fees to cover your own operations! The Open Food Network software has lots of ways to add different administrative fees to orders (and delivery fees, and discounts, and all kinds of things like that) and a lot of hubs use that to cover the cost of both compensating their hub manager or staff and helping pay for the platform. A typical admin fee a hub would charge (in general, not just for OFN) runs in the 15%-30% range, but you decide all that based on your situation, and you decide how much of that to give using the form of a donation (if any). Folks also use their OFN shopfront to ask for donations and sell fundraising merch for their enterprise. We love that!

Are you making up for the low price by sneakily selling my data?

No! We wish people asked this question more often. The Open Food Network will never sell your data – we support data sovereignty as well as food sovereignty, and your business is your business!

Welcome to your Community

Have an idea, a project or a question? Want to help others use the Open Food Network software and meet some very cool people in the process?  Get in touch and let's get you contibuting!

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