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Field Notes

Ideas, stories and resources for re-linking the food chain.

Creating Business Value with Open Source Software

At Local Orbit, we frequently hear of efforts to build or utilize open source software (OSS) for local food businesses. Commonly misperceived as “free” software, it sounds appealing to small, cost-conscious operations that strive to make a social impact while building...

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The Cost of Indecision

Ever struggled to get your organization to consider a change or have your organization evaluate a change and then stall on taking next steps? Identifying the cost of indecision can reduce the organizational inertia that prevents you from moving forward. When...

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Small Steps. Big Impact.

As  Local Orbit develops new processes and features, we focus on incremental change and continuous iteration. This means that we add new components into our processes and our application without disturbing anyone’s business, including our own. This way, we can use...

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Celebrating A New Food Economy With Local Orbit

Michael Rogers, vice president communications for the Small Business Association of Michigan, talks with Erika Block, the founder of Local Orbit, Ann Arbor, Michigan, the supply chain platform for people who are creating a new, connected food economy. Local Orbit,...

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The Power of Data to Grow Local Food Systems

  How Local Orbit helps organizations access their data, and how they can use it to plan for the future and develop sustainable local supply chains. Each day, our digital footprint grows larger and larger. In fact, it permeates our lives so thoroughly that we...

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Does PACA affect your food hub?

The Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act protects businesses dealing in fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables by establishing and enforcing a code of fair business practices.  Denetra M. McPherson explains how PACA may apply to you.  Guest Post by Denetra M....

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What is Organic?

As consumer demand for transparency in the food system grows, we see many terms used to describe food, such as local, organic and fair trade. The challenge, however, is understanding what these terms actually mean.  Local Orbit believes that the best way to ensure...

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“Local food systems are not inherently sustainable”

At events and in meetings, and through the rich pool of applicants we’ve had for recent job openings, we’re seeing a growing number of young people grappling with seemingly intractable food systems problems – with greater depth and awareness of the complexity –...

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“Food Leaders are De Facto Climate Leaders”

Healthcare Without Harm published an excellent article last month about the role of hospital foodservice in climate change: Nourishing Patients and the Planet: The Role of Hospital Food Service in Climate Leadership.  Featuring the work of the University of Washington...

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