“It’s time to empower consumers and allow them to have a say in what they’re putting in their shopping baskets by reconnecting consumers with farmers and involving them in every step of the production process,” says Poussier, who is based in the Cotswolds.
“We can effectively change what we buy in supermarkets, pay farmers a fair price for their produce, and respect the environment.”
Sounds like some ethical pipe dream? Well actually no, as this is exactly what’s happening over in France.
Since its launch in 2016, the French food brand ‘C’est qui le Patron’ has stormed onto the shelves of the country’s biggest supermarkets and is now the biggest-selling new food brand in French commercial history.
How it works
‘C’est qui le Patron’, which translates to ‘Who’s the Boss?’ in English, began in response to the crisis in the French dairy industry which saw record low prices being forced onto the sector by the big supermarkets.
The brand works, in effect, like fair trade in that it pays all farmers and producers a premium for their produce through a slightly higher retail price. All producers are suffering from the same supermarket-driven squeeze on prices, not just dairy farmers.
But the really innovative thing is that it lets shoppers have a say in every aspect of the product that’s to be sold, via an online questionnaire. Helped with an online briefing about all aspects of a product’s production process, consumers decide on its specifications.
This covers everything from whether a product should be organic and take account of animal welfare to the packaging to be used and the price that the producer should get. Finally, consumers are asked whether they want to pay a little more to help improve biodiversity on the farmer’s land.