In Perpignan, managers in the collective catering sector were invited to visit the Halle aux carreaux, last Friday, as well as local farmers to judge the quality of the products.
Since the introduction of the EGalim law, collective restaurants are forced to get 50% of their supply from local productions by 2022.
In order to convince the managers of school canteens, retirement homes and hospitals, elected officials invited them to the heart of the wholesale market, la Halle aux carreaux, which sees 8,000 tons of fruits and vegetables pass through each year. This way, they were able to discover the quality of the local products.
Indeed, local farmers do not always have the capacity to respond to the requests from restaurant managers. The administration therefore favored the formation of groups able to respond favorably. Today, these groups, such as Ma Coop or Jardins de Perpignan, can win important markets.
The differences in price between local producers and the traditional market are still problematic but some want to set the example. “We are economic actors of the territory and we therefore have responsibilities towards it,” explains Sophie Barre, in charge of GIP Coopélog, a public interest group for catering and laundry activities. “Working with local producers is one of our commitments. The prices of some local fruits and vegetables are, obviously, slightly higher than the prices in large centrals, we compensate for the difference by working on food waste and work methods in the kitchens.”