One of the cool projects that OKF France were hacking away on during Open Data Day last weekend was Open Food Facts. It’s a free, open collaborative database of food facts from around the world, which aims to help consumers make better choices about what they put in their body, as well as motivating industry to take more care over the production of food.

Food is becoming an increasingly political issue. Food security has risen up the international agenda to become one of the most talked-about aspects of strategic planning for the future. From questions of who owns the patents on the seeds people need to survive, to questions of the effects of additives in your body, to understanding the impact of our consumption habits on the environment, information about food is much-needed and often difficult to come by.

The G8 is organising an International Conference on Open Data in Agriculture, to take place on the 28th and 29th April. The idea is to openly share useful, publicly funded information about agriculture across international borders, so the everyone can move towards greater food security. In particular, the G8 group have made a commitment to share this data with African countries to enable “a sustainable increase in food security”.

There’s an open call for ideas to present at the conference, so if you have thoughts about how open data can improve global food security and food use then think about getting in touch. The folk from Open Food Facts are submitting their ideas, and they’ve invited input into their letter explaining why the project is important. The deadline for submissions has been extended to the 8th March, so now’s the moment!

If you’d like to get involved in discussions about open data, food and sustainability more generally, sign up for our Open Sustainability Working Group.

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Theodora is press officer at the Open Knowledge Foundation, based in London. Get in touch via