Last November several French ministers, including Mr. Le Foll, French Ministry of Agriculture, presented a range of initiatives to better connect farmers to consumers, and particularly to collective catering. These initiatives were developed in order to achieve the goal of 40% of local products in the food served in collective catering facilities (schools, companies’ restaurants…) in 2017, set by the French President of the Republic.
From left to right : Cécile DUFLOT, Minister for Equality of land occupation and housing, Fleur PELLERIN, deputy minister for Small and Medium sized Companies, Innovation and Numeric Economy, Stéphane LE FOLL, minister for Agriculture, Agrofood Industries and Forestry
The role of collective catering
The 73,000 collective catering facilities serve 3 billion meals every year, for 17 billion euros of yearly sales. As 71% of the French consumers are willing to direct their consumption in order to support the local production, collective catering is one the primary means to fulfill that will. Schools, companies, hospitals and restaurants can help by buying local products, guaranteeing the diversity of the products, respecting the seasonality of crops and by so doing enhance the social and economic development of rural areas.
Collective catering includes schools, hospitals and corporate restaurants, a total of 3 billion meals per year.
Using accessible and simple technology
Actions are taken to give a new energy to rural areas, using every day and simple technology.
“Agrilocal” is an internet platform enabling local farmers and public facilities serving food on a daily basis, such as schools, hospitals and pensions, to make contact simply and directly. Initiated in the Drôme department (south east of France), the agrilocal.fr network is soon to be extended to another 30 French departments.
“Mes produits en ligne” (My products on line) and “Manger bio, ici et maintenant” (Eating organic, right here, right now) are two other internet platforms, connecting websites, farmers and consumers in order to enhance local consumption and support the rural development. Currently, “Mes produits en lignes” administers 49 websites, proposing the products of more than 500 farmers.