The Euralis cooperative opened its first local food aisles in select Point Vert stores in 2012, a pioneering decision at the time. Over the years, our range of products has greatly expanded and the number of listed producers has also increased. However, our mission has always remained the same: providing resilience to farms by guaranteeing secure revenues for farmers who distribute their produce via our food aisles and meeting consumer demands as best as possible. The gamble has paid off. Boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the food aisles have proved to be a hit, while contributing to the economic vitality of regions.
La Table des Producteurs is celebrating its 10th birthday: the first local food aisles were unveiled in March 2012 in Point Vert stores in Lescar, Coarraze, Soumoulou and Morlàas. “Firstly, we wanted to meet growing consumer demand for local produce”, Olivier Chabat, Head of Development and Distribution, explains. “Then it was a matter of spreading out store visits and managing peak periods in spring and autumn, and, of course, attracting new customers. Finally, listing our members’ products in food aisles enabled us to guarantee additional revenues. Offering market opportunities is part of the DNA of our cooperative”.
La Table des Producteurs: a brand like no other
What makes our brand unique is the expertise of producers and their authentic, committed approach. They exclusively offer local, healthy, seasonal, high-quality and artisanal products, thus guaranteeing traceability. The human dimension also plays a key role in our food aisles: “Our producers deliver to Point Vert stores once a week, providing the opportunity to meet and talk to customers. They are also in direct contact with our buyers, with whom they discuss new potential recipes, as well as new developments in packing and packaging”, adds Jacques Bazet, Head of Supply Chain Distribution.
A growing number of producers and a wider range of products
Over the years, the number of Table des Producteurs aisles has steadily increased. So far in 2022, there are 38 aisles and 500 listed producers. “We list farmers and local artisans since they are driven by the same spirit of sharing and cooperation that drives Euralis”, highlights Benoît Barron, Head of Distribution. “Our decision to add them to our list is based on our standards regarding product origins, quality and seasonality. They must operate close to our stores; for fresh produce in particular, we don’t exceed a 25 km radius.” As the food aisles have expanded, producers have adapted their approach: at the start, they mainly sold unprocessed products on their markets. Thanks to guaranteed opportunities, they later invested in production tools. Customers now have a wide range of products to choose from, including pork, beef, veal, charcuterie, cheese and dairy products, ice-cream, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, sweet and savoury cupboard staples, as well as fruit and vegetables. “Depending on where the stores are located, consumer demand varies, as do product ranges. There are on average 80 listed producers per store, with some selling only one type of product. In urban areas, customers look for the widest possible range of products, while in rural areas, they often grow their own fruit and vegetables, so we place greater emphasis on fresh produce (poultry, dairy products, eggs, etc.)”.
Turnover growth is on target
The turnover of Table des Producteurs aisles continues to increase, boosted by the health crisis (+24% a year since 2019). In the last financial year, turnover reached 10 million euros, with 6.5 million euros benefitting local producers. “The health crisis attracted new customers to our stores, who were often younger and visited us for their grocery shopping, which was not the case before”, says Benoît Barron, Head of Distribution. “The lockdown led to a revival in home cooking and the shift to authentic, healthy and tasty products. It also provided an opportunity to support local producers and re-inject money into regions at a time when the health crisis highlighted the essential role of farmers. We have also noticed that consumers are increasingly concerned about protecting the environment. In short, buying locally helps meet all of these priorities”.
Future development prospects
In addition, we are examining brand development strategies. “We aim to further develop food aisles via third parties, click and collect services, fruit and veg boxes and charcuterie meats”. Watch this space…