It is common to think that eating organic is more expensive and therefore reserved for an elite. According to a report from France 2 in August 2019, organic would be "73% more expensive" than conventional, while specifying that "for half, the French buy their products in supermarkets, the rest in specialized stores."
Faced with these findings, the network of organic producers was inspired by the “Positive energy families” challenge, coordinated by CLER - Network for the energy transition: this challenge, designed in the form of an animation, aims to modify the behavior of families in daily life in order to fight against greenhouse gases.
This is how the “positive eating families” challenge was born, which aims to demonstrate in a friendly way that you can eat tasty, organic and local food, without increasing your budget.
Supported by the network of organic producers, the first edition took place in Lyon in 2012-2013 with the support of the city of Lyon and the Rhône-Alpes region.
The challenge is for everyone: couples, single people, households with or without children. Teams from around ten households are formed. A team captain, trained by the challenge leader, makes the link between the teams and the leader. The objective of the challenge is clear: increase your consumption of local organic products while keeping a constant budget and having fun! Each challenge lasts 6 months on average, during which each team is invited once a month for a key moment:
- a launch party: to explain the challenge, create cohesion between the members of the same team and start the challenge,
- an evening of discussion with a dietitian-nutritionist to talk about the interest of organic products and discover vegetable proteins + learn organic, seasonal and local recipes,
- a cooking class with a chef,
- an organic farm visit,
- an organic farming game night and a shared meal,
- organic gardening,
- a closing evening with an award ceremony,
- food purchase records.
In order to follow the costs of each team, purchases are entered in each member account, for 14 days, two or three times during the challenge, in order to be able to compare the evolution of their consumption, from entering the challenge to the end.
This free support allows households to discover the tips to consume organic and local products within their budget, learn about organic farming and nutrition, discover the places where to buy in a reasoned way, meet and exchange ideas in a friendly way with the other participants, discover new recipes and new tastes, visit farms and meet farmers.
Forty challenges have been organized in several regions of France: Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, Brittany, Normandy, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Hauts-de-France, Pays de la Loire. A dozen challenges are currently underway, including several in new regions: Occitanie, Center-Val de Loire, PACA.
Between 2012 and 2016, the 21 challenges made it possible to increase the share of organic products in food purchases by 20 points, from 36% to 56%, accompanied by a reduction in meal cost of € 0.22 thanks to the purchase of seasonal products, purchased in short circuits and by increasing the proportion of vegetable proteins.
The little extra
A challenge is also a unifying project that creates links between the inhabitants of the same territory, that promotes social mix and cultural discoveries. Beyond the families who participate in the challenge, this creates a real dynamic for the territory by initiating a global approach, which is then taken up by local associations.
Written by Louise Galipaud, volunteer LFC - June 2020.
Last modification : 08 Jul 2020.
Fédération nationale d'agriculture biologique
The aim of the positive eating families challenge is to support households to increase their consumption of organic products without increasing their budget.