How Lyon is reaching new customers for organic food & mutualising events

1) Reaching new customers for organic food:  (click to enlarge picture)











View guide

ARDAB is a local organic producers’ NGO. Besides working toward producers to foster organic farming, they also promote organic food toward customers. About 5 years ago, in order to reach new potential customers, they changed their communication strategy. Leaving the usual “ecological” message about environment and health benefits from organic products (and the “guilt” background), they decided to use humour and none-customers’ point of view to break down barriers of prejudices.

Guide :
created in 2012 by the regional network of organic producers: 1800ex, cost : 5500euros
Edition every year: 10 000ex. Modification and diffusion in other network allowed (200€ participation asked)

Magazine :
Figures: Edition : 1 per year. 15000 ex. About 1600€ + 6 working days FTE. Diffusion : Paper in all the public lycées (high school for students aged from 16 to 18 yo) of the region + online edition on Lycées’ website + on video screens in the canteens.
Benefits: 20 % of the students know it. Among those students, 70% think it brings new information and 65% find it adapted to the target group. Teachers are all very positive about it.
Blocking points: budget (70% with public funding and organic producers don’t want to fund it) + skills and time
Opportunities: disseminate in public colleges (high school for students aged from 12 to 15 yo) on the same basis but more simple + have a wider dissemination through the internet (social networks?)

 2) Mutualisation for events and communication:

 feteAbout 20 organizations (NGO, companies, etc.) agreed to organize together a big event the 20th of September in the city centre (on the river bank) about sustainable food, organic agriculture and the rural-urban link. To do so, they gathered in one place and date several separate events planned to happen during this month. They also did develop a common visual communication and did mutualise resources to give a bigger impact to the usually scattered actions.

Those organizations are all members of an initiative started last years (and supported through URBACT LSG) to foster synergies and mutualisation among them in different fields: communication, events, business, human resources, etc.

Cost: 8000€ (5k€ subsidies from the city)

Benefits expected: besides information to the general public and bringing more visibility to the topics, the idea is to use this event as the first concrete step toward the synergy process.


–          Coordination: as nothing is clearly defined yet, each of the structure gives a bit of time and resources for the coordination. But still, few are really working hard to get things done. With no coordinator, and even with online tools, communication among partners can be an issue.

–          Governance: in such a network with no leader (they hate the idea…!), organising meetings with all partners attending is quite impossible, and finding agreement about some issues can take time…

Tip : the subsidy given by the Municipality had both effects to support and speed up the process.