impossible to meet all the challenges associated with the food transition if we do not focus on a set of products. But evolution is gradual and the priority challenges to be addressed are not equal, depending on the products. Milk, for example, is a core target in the fight for animal welfare. On the struggle for plastic-free products, we place greater emphasis on fruit and vegetables, promoting reusable packaging. By pulling the food transition lever, we drive the market.
Is there a single food transition at global level, or can it take different and even contradictory forms in different parts of the world?
The pace and challenges of the transition differ widely in different territories. The concept of local product is acclaimed all over the world. As is the end of plastic, which is increasingly gaining ground. This is less significant with organic goods. It s an important issue for France and Spain, much less so for Poland and Romania. For example, Taiwan only started producing free range eggs in 2018! Previously, no-one in Taiwan knew anything other than battery poultry farming.
Two years ago, we launched the C est qui le patron ?!3 campaign, giving consumers the power to set the price of a bottle of milk to reward producers fairly. A hundred million of these bottles have since been sold in France. In Belgium, the initiative was less successful. On the other hand, the Je participe 4 operation, which involves crowdfunding sustainable agricultural and food projects, has exported very well, particularly to Spain, with the success of the white aubergine. We are now developing similar campaigns against food waste in Argentina and Brazil for products with short shelf lives. In Argentina, a country that produces and consumes a lot of meat, the cause of sustainable fishing has less traction than in western Europe. It is therefore essential to take the pulse of each society.
What type of collaboration with industrialists, producers and consumers need to adopt retailers in order to promote better food consumption?
I think that retailers that act with sincerity will make all the difference. We must identify micro-trends in a world where consumption patterns are changing fast. If you are the place where these trends become clear, you will be the retailer of tomorrow. The dynamic of the food transition has become our raison d être , but we tend to concentrate on its strongest signals. We have to be able to pick up fainter signs, which isn t always easy for a major group.
To summarise the food transition, I would say it consists of eating healthier, more ethically and without the use of plastic.
3 - Who s the boss?! 4 - I m taking part.