Beeline

Beeline is a logistics platform & virtual marketplace. We set out to cut wasted transport energy and costs while better supporting local farmers. Local food offers many benefits, but merely localizing food production does not guarantee efficient delivery or the profitability of small farms. An online network connects retailers and restaurateurs to growers. As orders are placed, Beeline automatically plans transportation routes to pool pickups and deliveries. Beeline provides small farmers with greater access to marketplaces, helping them stay competitive.

Begun in 2006 as a design project focused on food distribution and CO2 reduction, we merged Beeline with Portland, Oregon-based Ecotrust's FoodHub. FoodHub is now a successful venture.

From Metropolis, 2007: "The project demanded a multidisciplinary approach," Danby says. "We collectively have expertise in local economies, the food industry, sustainable design, and urban issues." Cutting middlemen out of the distribution, Beeline also monitors the environmental impact of its delivery system. Plus, the tool provides information about local growers and retailers, empowering the customer to make informed choices."

Team: Jyoti Stephens, Mary Rick, Kevin Wilhelm, Daniel Etra, Paul Waggoner.

Winner, Royal Society of Arts' Competition. Runner-up, Metropolis NEXT Generation Competition. Exhibited in Partly Sunny, Denver CO 2008