"I noticed that the audience I was reaching was mostly educated and not poor in my short circuit associative bars that I opened in Lyon. These people often consume by default. They don't have the money to purchase quality products and they aren't offered them in their locality. These people, in reality, are just like everyone else. They want to eat well, but it doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. They want to provide a healthy diet for their children. They wanted to give them the freedom to choose what they eat by making it easier for them to access good products by bringing it closer to their homes.
"Organic isn't for me, it’s for the rich "... Yes, that was what we heard. Our products were not delivered overnight to the towers. Thanks to the Abbe Pierre Foundation's support, we have been able to benefit from the provision staff and premises. First, we organized tastings. We discussed the taste and the price. Then, we organized meetings with peasants. The development of the product catalogue is made possible by the participation of the residents. Trust is what makes the product catalog work. Trust is what people want. This can be achieved with short circuits. A solidarity in precariousness is another form of solidarity. Many people who have lived in rural areas are familiar with agricultural work. Consumers will understand the prices better if they are able to reconnect with their farmers.
"We are creating purchasing groups with organic farmers who are close to the targeted neighborhoods, registered in university policy or city policy. We do not negotiate prices. Producers are paid fairly. We reduce transportation costs and packaging, but we don't make any margins. Therefore, the products are offered at a cost price. The residents order the products and then pick them up a few days later at their local neighborhood. These orders are often distributed by social centers.
"Thank you, now, I feel like everybody else": That's what a woman in her 40s once said to me. She was from a working-class area. This was a sentence that stuck with me. Food is more than filling stomachs. Because we ask residents to take part, there are many links that run through the association and around the orders. Discussion is encouraged at the moment of distribution. This is especially true of women who are often unable to meet up in other places than school. All of these things can change the way you look at yourself and others. Sometimes it can be a way to improve self-esteem and to inspire the desire to do more.
"Yes, it is because we are responding a social need. VRAC addresses structural inequalities as well as society's inability guarantee food quality for all. It requires support from the public. It is the only food assistance association that is not tied to unsold food. Recall that aid for the most deserving was originally created for one winter. It is still there. Today, poor people receive leftovers. Remainings are often processed and fatty, salty, or sweet.
Respect for people, the environment, and health are essential conditions for sustainable, inclusive food. It's not just about consuming the minimum amount of calories. It means having the freedom to choose what you eat and respecting those who provide the products. This includes paying farmers for their labor while also respecting the environment. It is not good to continue with policies that are geared towards the poor. It is time to create a universal policy that addresses both the income of people and their production methods. An organic policy would encourage organic farming, which is currently insufficient relative to demand. A sustainable and inclusive food system is an investment in a better future. This is why I support social food security.
Bio Express Boris Tavernier, originally from Pas-de-Calais was the founder of VRAC (Towards a Common Purchasing Network). He had previously worked odd jobs and set up an associative bar at Lyon. At the time, he was 35 years old. VRAC is an association of non-profits that promotes sustainable and high quality food for all, regardless their financial resources. The first orders were placed in Lyon's most popular areas (la Duchere and Vaulx-en-Velin), The association has grown to include 13 French cities as well as Brussels. In 2022, it will affect 4,800 families.
The contents of the file
Nicolas Vanier: "All I am"
A "typical" restaurant that is accessible to everyone
Boris Tavernier: I defend the project for a social safety for food!
The handicap is overcome when you eat organically and locally.
Sainte-Croix Park is eco-responsible. We sleep and eat at Sainte-Croix Park