Nicolas Cabot, Les Jardins de la Méditerranée:

“Each year, we prevent the waste of 1,500 tons of fruit and vegetables”

Les Jardins de la Méditerranée/Imagine 84 is an association which was created in 2008 by the Ministry of Health as part of the operation “5 fruits and vegetables per day”. The action consists of recovering unsold produce from the fruit and vegetable sector in order to redistribute them to the beneficiaries of food aid.

“The merchandise comes from the entire fruit and vegetable sector, both from the national production and from imports. This wide variety of products allows us to offer a great variety of fruit and vegetables to the different charities. Each year, we recover about 1,500 tons of merchandise and after sorting and repackaging in our workshop, we redistribute 1,200 tons throughout France,” explains Nicolas Cabot, director of the association.

A societal impact at different levels
Les Jardins de la Méditerranée is recognized by the European Union as being among the best associations taking action in favor of sustainable development. It fights against food waste, and it also has a social impact through its Integration Workshop, which is part of the IAE (Insertion through Economic Activity). In 2019, 77% of its employees in the integration program found either work or training.

A supply of at least 5 fruits and vegetables
The association depends on the market supply, just like other operators of the sector, but it succeeded in securing its offer thanks to regular suppliers allowing them to redistribute a wide range of fruit and vegetables to its partner associations. The access to seasonal products depends on the year and the market. “This summer for example, our access to stone fruits was very limited, since the 2020 campaign was weak in terms of volumes. We also often look for products from the ratatouille range.”

Advantages as a supplier
The suppliers of the association benefit from a number of advantages. “Throwing products away represents a cost of more than 100 euros/ton. By deciding to donate this merchandise that is to be destroyed, a company not only saves up on those costs, but it also benefits from a reduction on income or corporate tax of 60% of the product value (CERFA 238 bis certificate of the CGI). Additionally, this act is in line with Corporate Social Responsibility, allowing the donating actors to communicate their commitment and thus improve their image.”

Besides, thanks to its network of partner carriers, Les Jardins de la Méditerranée benefits from a logistical strength that allows them to recover products from all over France, with a simple phone call or email, and without any financial contribution from the supplier.

For more information:
Nicolas Cabot
A.C.I Les Jardins de la Méditerranée
Imagine 84
M.I.N. – batiment P2 - 135 Av Pierre Sémard
84 000 Avignon
Phone: 04 13 41 61 32
Fax: 04 13 41 61 24
Mobile: 06 12 12 50 64 

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