A pop-up farmer’s market in Nice with an online approach to selling produce is proving to be a hugely popular initiative.
As the weeks pass, the lines of people waiting in front of Nice’s main station of a Thursday evening to receive their order of fresh fruit and vegetables are getting longer … a sure sign of success for what is probably the best food initiative of the last few years, La ruche qui dit oui! (The Hive that Says Yes!)
Created in Toulouse by culinary designer Guilhem Chéron and web project manager Marc-David Choukroun, this food assembly movement is a connected sales network, where local customers can buy quality produce directly from farmers in their region. This is done through an online platform which sets out details of the food-buying hubs, the “hives”, made up of farmers, dairies, bakers and so on, that are all based within a 100 mile radius.
Customers sign up for free and select their local hive. Each week, they can browse each producer’s personalised web page and select their items. Once their order has been placed and paid for, they receive a confirmation number and all they have to do is to turn up at the allotted time and place to collect their goods from the producers themselves.
Easy to use for customers and financially beneficial for sellers who receive a pre-tax turnover four times better than what they would receive from a supermarket chain, these pop-up markets are first and foremost a way to cut out the middlemen in order to offer organic food at a reasonable price. Customers can also get all they need at one single place while producers no longer need to spend long hours at a market not knowing how much they’ll sell. For everyone involved, it is a great way to meet face to face and create a community through food.
The movement is showing no signs of slowing down and has already spread to many other European countries, including the U.K. where it won the Best British Food Initiative at the BBC Food and Farming Awards in 2015, for “making a positive difference to how and what Britain eats, and is showing the Industry the way forward”. As for the Riviera, no less than 12 hives have been set up so far from Grasse to Beausoleil.
All images courtesy La ruche qui dit oui!