How to make our global open database of food products truly global?

How to make our global open database of food products truly global?

It’s been 9 months since we publicly launched Open Food Facts on May 19th 2012 to coincide with Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day. And those 9 months have been very busy months! Here are a few highlights:

  • 300 contributors have added more than 5000 products
  • Open Food Facts now exists in 10 languages (in various states of translation, help is still needed!)
  • We developed Android and iPhone apps to scan barcodes and upload product pictures
  • We added a RDF export of the data so that it can be more easily linked to other datasets
  • Users can easily plot products on a graph (e.g. showing the sugar level and number of additives for sodas) or on an OpenStreetMap map
Open Food Facts

A global project

The project was intended to be global right from the start, but most of the early contributors being French, we focused more on the French version. We were lucky to have a lot of positive response and enthusiasm for the project, and we now have 4500 products in French, which enables cool re-uses of the data like C’est fabriqué près de chez vous (French for “Made near you”) which shows were food products are manufactured on an interactive map.

Our main challenge is now to develop Open Food Facts for other countries and in other languages. It will certainly enable many new re-uses and applications, like comparing the available food products in different regions of the world. Can we find correlations between the differences in food products and the prevalence of certain diseases or affections?

We need your help!

We will certainly need all the help we can find to make Open Food Facts truly global. Here are a first few ideas of how you can help, but there are countless ways to participate in the project:

  • Translation of the website, documentation, mobile apps etc.
  • Adding enough local products to enable the first useful re-uses or applications
  • Letting people know about the project so that we can find local users, contributors and re-users

And of course all your ideas of other possible contributions are very welcome as well!

Please do get in touch if you find the Open Food Facts project interesting, in this blog’s comments, through e-mail at, on the contributors Facebook group, on Twitter, on Google Plus etc. And if you think we should open other channels or be present on other networks, let us know!

How to make our global open database of food products truly global?