What a year ! A look back at 2023
Dear supporters and community members,
🎅🏻The entire Open Food Facts community wishes you a very happy festive season, and thanks you for being part of the adventure in 2023 with us!
Let’s look back at some of our collective accomplishments at Open Food Facts.
1. Community – the heartbeat of this project!
The Open Food Facts community are the citizens who, day after day, contribute to the database : by adding/ editing products, improving data quality, helping with the technical aspects (website & app), translating content to make it available to as many people as possible around the world,… .
Our Open Food Facts Days 2023 took place last October, with many members from France and Europe! Read article here & don’t hesitate to join us next year 🙂
Other community activities involved various scan parties (participative workshops), imagining the future of our mobile app, and regular community calls.
We are also working towards better equipping contributing members with various resources such as Guides (ex. Scan Party Guide), Tool Kits in various languages, Contributor Skill Pool … The latest addition are the Community Grants, to help local Open Food Facts communities take off!
2. Stronger relationships with our reusers
We’ve been delighted to have more Open Food Facts data reusers, apps such as El Coco, Horizon App, The New Sort, Speisekammer, MyLabel, who join the project as active contributors, often participating in brainstorms & discussions.
➡️ Here’s a testimony by Matthias from Speisekammer to give you a better idea of this win-win partnership.
3. Promoting Open Food Facts
To promote transparency in food, Open Food Facts has been to various professional fairs, inviting food industry professionals to share their product data with us.
Because we are an open source project, Open Food Facts presented at open source/data events:
- such as the Capitol du Libre,
- NGI Forum in Brussels,
- Impact Paris Summit
- and Open Source Experience in Paris.
We are also grateful to get media coverage & mentions (such as this article in the Guardian last September, or a TV mention by Pr. Mathilde Touvier) along with invitations to radio podcasts and conferences (such as the “Plastic packaging: can we go without them?”). A significant effort has been made to improve our press kit & communications.
We also took part in some institutional events:
- such as in the discussion Towards a harmonised Ecolabel for food in the EU at the Hague,
- on digital commons in Europe at the French National Assembly.
4. Keeping our Earth in mind
Open Food Facts makes the Eco-score (environmental footprint food score) available for 730,000 products, even when it is not displayed on pack. The Eco-score is calculated based on the Agribalyse database and we make sure we are always up-to-date to display more accurate information. We are lucky to have amazing contributors, like John, to build together!
We also paired with the ADEME (French Agency for Ecological Transition) for a special operation “Tackling Food Packaging”. With new fields to collect packaging data added to Open Food Facts and the participation of hundreds of citizens and some producers, we’ve collected detailed packaging data on over 10,000 products, including weights. This data will serve to help articulate the future official environmental score and feed the reflection around more sustainable options for the future of food packaging.
5. Serving science with our data
We are proud to say that the Open Food Facts database is being used by numerous researchers around the world.
Here are a few examples: in Scotland, with a researcher from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Better Food Index, and study by the NutriNet-Santé cohort on food additive emulsifiers and how they are associated with the risk of cardiovascular diseases (published in the British Medical Journal).
We are also delighted to continue accompanying the expansion and evolution of the Nutri-Score (nutritional score) with Santé publique France (French Health Agency).
6. Always improving technically
Open Food Facts is constantly looking at more efficient, smart ways to grow and improve the database:
- through logo recognition and machine learning,
- improved Pro Platform,
- constant improvements on the app, along with making it available on F-Droid,
- improving data quality with tools like Mirabelle,
- and recently a successful server migration (as illustrated below, with Alex blessing the entire process 😅) !!
7. Supporting education
Open Food Facts has welcomed 7 interns who have trained in server, machine learning, partnerships and GDPR policy. They’ve been a tremendous help in the daily operations of the project.
Thanks to the Perl Foundation, Open Food Facts participated again in Outreachy (an open source internship program to promote diversity), with a project to improve the Producers Platform.
Moreover, Open Food Facts gave a seminary (available here in French) at the prestigious Collège de France on “the potential to revolutionise future research and public health action in the field of nutrition and health”; a lecture on Eco-Score to the students of Master CIPA (from design to industrialisation of food products) in Arras; and participated in a round table at digital transition and food transition (fr) organized by Strasbourg University (France).
The year 2024 is bound to be as eventful as the previous (if not more) !
We’ll let you know what’s on the menu in our next email in January, so keep an eye out for it 😉
All this is possible thanks to your kind support of our non-profit work 🙏 .
You can join forces with Open Food Facts with your time, skills, contacts and monetary support.
Let’s stand together & design the food landscape we wish to see – respectful of humans and of the planet, transparent & open !
Have a wonderful end of your year,
Open Food Facts community animator