Sfax, 2nd city of Tunisia with more than 500,000 inhabitants (Grand Sfax) is a coastal city located in the southern part of the country, renowned for its local culinary traditions. However, the city is expanding at the expense of the surrounding agricultural land threatening small peripheral agriculture. The multiplication of intermediaries along the food chain often does not generate sufficient income for producers. If the city is renowned for its culinary traditions, the arrival of a globalized distribution system threatens small local producers.
To respond to this problem, the Sfax association “Graine d'Espoir” has decided to invent a new form of market for the city: "The Alternative Market".
It is a market dedicated to smallscale local producers, practicing environmentally friendly agriculture. The association, through this initiative, gives a privileged sales space to local producers, allowing them to sell their products directly to consumers interested in consuming better and supporting the local economy.
The space and furniture are made available to producers free of charge.
- The first edition was held in May 2018 on the 100 meters square of Sfax, for 5 days and 4 nights, on the occasion of the start of Ramadan. The market welcomed 6 producers and processors and more than 200 visitors.
- The second edition was held in November 2019 in collaboration with the Let’s Food association in Fondouk El Haddadine, in the heart of the medina of Sfax. This edition made it possible to welcome nearly 12 stands selling a variety of products from local agriculture and respectful of the environment: olive oil, dairy products, vegetables, jams, sauces and preserves, gluten-free cookies, etc. Local associations such as ACG Generations and Sfax Mezyena were also present to communicate on their actions for the city of Sfax. About 100 people came to enjoy the market atmosphere, chat with producers and processors and buy local products.
A third edition of the “Marché Autrement” was organized in February 2020 at the Maison de France in Sfax, on the occasion of the 2020 edition of “La Nuit des Idées”. It welcomed 4 producers and processors and around fifty visitors.
Graine d'Espoir is an association which aims to promote awareness of a sustainable environment, favorable and accessible to all.
They are involved at different levels for Sfax: support for young people in their integration into the job market, support for local producers, urban agriculture, support to migrants, for example.
The Little Extra
The Graine d'Espoir association wishes to go further in this process by opening a solidarity grocery store on its premises. Still at the project stage, the association wishes to associate the grocery store with a rooftop garden, and support local producers towards more environmentally friendly practices.
Last modification : 15 May 2020.
The Marché Autrement is a market supported by the Graine d'Espoir association which aims to highlight local producers in Sfaxien territory and raise awareness towards fairer and more responsible consumption.