In southern France, a new project has put in place different tools to respond to issues of food and the local economy. During the COVID-19 health crisis, the interactive map Cliketik allows residents to have more awareness on purchasing locally.
During the first period of lockdowns earlier this spring in France, the question was quickly asked: How should consumers purchase local products? How should producers make themselves known to the public?
The interactive Cliketik map, available since 2018, allowed residents to easily inform themselves about purchasing locations near them. More recently, by associating with a regional park, the food supply was extended to a larger area.
“Access to local food is a problem that we have been involved in for several years,” explained Laurence Tkaczuk, a government employee working on the project. “Starting in 2007, we carried out studies to understand consumer opinions, both of tourists and residents, in our area on the products they wish to purchase, their quality signs, their origins.” Another major piece of data was found in the study: Consumers frequently were not sure where to purchase local products, whether they needed to go directly to producers or if the products were also available in grocery stores.
From the confusing consumer situation, Cliketik was born. It is a participatory platform, each producer signs up, publishes their data, fills out a form and feeds the site. There are varied categories for different types of food products, from poultry meat to goat cheese, jellies, honey, bread, etc.
Several search criteria can be used on the interactive map: markets, grocery stores, producers, organic products, geographic indication products, etc.
When movement was more restricted during COVID-19 lockdowns in France, the map revealed itself to be very useful to put farmers in contact with consumers. Many markets were closed during the first wave of COVID-19, but the map allowed people to easily see which were still open as well as their hours. From January to April 2020, visits to the site multiplied by 13.