With stricter health measures and a little bit of ingenuity, farmers and local product markets are able to continue providing products to their usual clients, but also are getting to new consumers, some of whom have limited choices due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. A win-win choice that allows people to eat seasonal products all while supporting local producers.
While respecting COVID-19 safety rules, it is still possible to make purchases directly from a farmer, in stores, or through a local food organization.
In 2016, there were 106,018 farms selling in local distribution channels. Since mid-March, more and more consumers are turning to this type of products, which are seen as being safer. Groups like La Ruche qui dit oui, Bienvenue à la ferme, or different AMAP organizations (Associations pour le maintien d’une agriculture paysanne, groups fighting for traditional agriculture), specialize in distributing directly from producers, cutting out the middleman, have seen growing demand and new suppliers and purchasers appear.
Each organization is organized to limit as much as possible handling and interactions between individuals: Consumers are invited to come during a specific time and to group their orders with neighbors to concentrate delivery down to a single person. Certain producers gather products from neighboring producers to have a single point of sale for consumers.
The growth in online interactive maps bears witness to the diversity of local food sources across France and the importance of maintaining local supply channels. All of these tools are also new markets for producers who used to only sell to restaurants and cafeterias.
To help food shops and restaurant owners sell locally, digital shipping applications are proposing free service, including several new food and grocery delivery companies that have appeared or expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic.