La Ruche qui dit Oui

Promoters: 
Equanum SAS company, Guilhem Chéron.
Country: 
France
La Ruche qui dit Oui (The Hive that says Yes) is an efficient system of direct exchange between consumers and producers of local food. Each Ruche has a responsible person whose work is remunerated, to facilitate a large number of jobs in agriculture.
What solution does the innovation propose?

70% of European consumers state that they prefer local, sustainable foods, according to the Natural Marketing Institute, but say that they do not have access to a reliable supply system for fair-priced products. The Hive has managed to bring together the critical mass of consumers, giving them access to a small-scale, environmentally-sustainable supply system for local products.

Recognitions

Best British Food Initiative Prize awarded in BBC Food Awards (2015).
Guilhem Chéron awarded Ashoka Fellow (2013).

Impact evidence

Outputs
  • There are a total of 885 Ruches (France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, UK and Spain), nearly 5,000 producers (4,355 in France), and some 135,000 active customers annually (129,165 in France). The Hive employs 100 employees (including 60 in France). 
  • 95% of the producers say they have acquired new skills (75% in the agricultural sector, 51% in relationships, 35% in events, 28% in technology).
  • 2016 saw expansion to Switzerland, the Netherlands and Denmark.
  • La Ruche qui dit Oui has existed since 2011 and brings together some 800,000 members, a number that is continually rising.  
  • Many local entrepreneurs have been supported in opening their own Ruche. They manage the relationships between producers and consumers but beyond making a positive contribution to the community, entrepreneurs receive 8.35% of their Ruches takings and many have earned between 100€ and 2,000€ per month.
How does it work?

The Food Assembly (the name of the project in the UK) is an online service for more efficient local food distribution. The online sales platform facilitates direct exchanges between local producers and a community of customers that meet regularly at pop-up markets, also known as Food Assemblies.
1. An individual, a group of people, or an enterprise decides to launch an assembly in a local cafe, a community center, a school, a garden or a bar... They're called the Assembly Hosts.
2. The Assembly Host contacts farmers and foodmakers within a 150 mile radius who produce fruit and veg, meat, dairy products, bread, wine, honey... At the same time, the Assembly Host starts recruiting members who want to buy local food products.
3. Each week, the Assembly Host publishes an online selection of local food products to members of the assembly. Prior to that, producers fix the fair price they want for their products, and the minimum orders that must be met for delivery.
4 Members have 6 days to place an order on the website, by simply clicking on the products they want. No commitment, no subscription: each member is free to place an order, or not.
5. Once orders have been placed, there are two possible outcomes:
- The producer's minimum order has been met, and we're good to go. If it hasn't been met, the producer won't make a delivery that week.
- The evening before distribution, members receive a complete list of the products they've ordered and thus the amount they are charged.
On distribution day, members pick up their purchases from the assembly's distribution point.

Geographical scope

Where was initially developed
Paris, France.
Where has been implemented so far
Brussels, London, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona and Turin.