De la Terre à l'Assiette supports local meat producers, in order to supply collective catering and facilitate short food supply chains. The initiative brought together several breeders to develop a collective meat cutting and processing workshop, and a producers’ shop.

De la Terre à l'Assiette
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Name of organisation
De la Terre à l’Assiette
Year established
L’Oseraye in Puceul, France / Local
Type of organisation
Collective processing facilities and producers’ shop
short food supply chains, civic food networks, producers, producers’ shop
Thematic focus
Public Food Procurement

Who is De la Terre à l'Assiette ? 

After a 5-year planning and negotiation process, De la Terre à l’Assiette was set up as a form of support to meat producers, in order to supply collective catering and facilitate short food supply chains. The initiative brought together several breeders to develop a collective meat cutting and processing workshop, and a producers’ shop.  

The cutting and processing workshop enables producers to cut and process meat, and prepare ready-to-eat meals. It offers a local service for farmers in short food supply chains and contributes to the development of local markets. This project is first and foremost a collaborative effort between farmers and is seen as an extension of the farm. It also aims to supply collective catering, for example to schools and other public spaces. 

In order to respond to public markets with local quality products, the workshop has worked with different actors to develop innovative contracting methods, including co-contracting with the industrial supply chain.  

Who do De la Terre à l'Assiette with and how do they do it?

De la Terre à l’Assiette was created as a result of collaboration between several different organisations and individuals. CAP44, a cooperative society of collective interest (SCIC) for agricultural and rural development in the Loire-Atlantique, played a key part in this process. CAP44 are also members of FADEAR, which brings together the development organisations of La Confederation Paysanne, a small-scale farmer trade union, in the different departments of France.   

At the beginning, De la Terre à l’Assiette had 10 producer partners, 2 of whom were organic farmers. Today, 9 out of 10 farmers are certified in organic farming. Today, de La Terre à l’Assiette is an SAS (simplified joint stock company) which includes former members of the previous structures and new members, including Loire Atlantic Department urban planning company (SELA). 

As a player in the local food industry, the workshop is also involved in the Territorial Food Project (projet alimentaire territorial or PAT) process, in partnership with local farming and food structures, and with the players in the food industry in the region. The workshop also has an educational role and opens its doors for visits to various audiences (students, trainees, agricultural project leaders, elected officials, etc.) 

Decisions within the project are made by a General Assembly of the partners, which meets regularly to take decisions concerning the statutes and administrative aspects of the organisation. Other decisions are taken by the President. There is a steering committee (or management committee) that meets monthly to closely monitor the structure. It is made up of breeders who use the tool or former breeders (G. Poisson, D. Lebreton, G. Philippot), the SELA and CAP 44. The Director (employee) is invited to the steering committee but is not a member. For transparency, regular information on decisions and changes is shared with all members. 

What are De la Terre à l'Assiette’s main challenges? 

A first challenge is to reconcile the traditional logic of the farmers in short food supply chains with the industrial logic of central kitchens, who are used to standardised portions and have previously only bought industrial chicken that is slaughtered after 38 days of rearing.  

A second challenge is to understand and assess the demand in terms of collective catering, and identify the levers to align production  to the expected quality and volume of meat.  

A third challenge is supplying large volumes, and respond to public tenders. It is therefore necessary to prepare tenders in advance with the local authorities and to take into account the constraints of the farmers. Similarly, it is necessary to anticipate orders with the workshop in order to be able to supply the desired quantities, both from the point of view of supply and in terms of the workshop planning.  

Finally, it would be helpful to strengthen the links between production (breeding and cutting/processing) and the regulations established at different levels for collective catering, including laws on climate and resilience, policy on Territorial Food Projects at different levels, and European regulations, etc.  

What are the priorities for the De la Terre à l'Assiette ?

De la Terre à L’Assiette prioritises giving farmers more control over their production and sales and ensuring they receive fair and stable prices for their products. There is also a focus on transparency and traceability, to ensure quality for the consumer. 

The initiative seeks to have positive economic and social impacts for farmers and citizens alike. The farmers involved in this initiative add value to their product and control the entire process, from production to sale, with the exception of slaughter. Similarly, consumers have access to quality products in a short food supply chain, which they can buy at a reasonable cost given the absence of intermediaries. 

The beneficiaries of the collective catering service also have access to quality products from the region. The workshop is thus part of a global approach to ensure education and healthy, quality food for all. 

De la Terre à l’Assiette also seeks to have positive ecological impacts. Sustainable agricultural practices are encouraged among the farmers of the territory because these practices bring more value to the product. The workshop participates in efforts to relocalise food chains, and the meat cutting and processing workshop offers a local service for farmers in short food supply chains, contributing to the development of local markets.

Marketing activities are targeted at local shops, private customers and collective catering, distributing local quality products to as many people as possible. This supports the development of the territorial agricultural and food landscape, which contributes to the local economy, employment and the autonomy of breeders in the management of their processing.  

The workshop is also a source of support for training related to local food supply chains, collective catering, and group visits, as it is open to trainees, apprentices, and adapted to the territorial dynamic.  

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