Business - France: Lyon

The city of Lyon has a long history of quality food production and consumption, mostly due

to an advantageous geographic location and a strong gastronomy culture. A large

diversity of food production is fostered within the surrounding area by the varied types of

climate: continental, mediterranean and mountainous. Traditional French gastronomic culture expects fresh and quality food for the chefs, or even families, to cook good meals.

Continuing a long tradition of food vendors, street markets and small grocery stores, the link between Lyon and the nearby production areas is further strengthened by an efficient, short supply chain.

The idea of sustainable food is not entirely new, as many initiatives such as: organic shops, farmer’s markets etc, started in the 1980’s. What remained largely unknown for years, and mostly supported by pioneers (producers or consumers), started to spread from the late 90’s,

cultivated by young activist-entrepreneurs experimenting with new business models (such as cooperatives). These innovations were driven by the urge to create alternative systems implementing ethical business relationships, eco-friendly production and supply chains, solidarity and social awareness.

During the last decade, a lot of those initiatives grew from a scattered proof-of-concept network, into a large network of interconnected activities, covering all the sustainable food fields. From local authorities and NGOs, to entrepreneurs, producers and consumers, these initiatives have blossomed into a thriving local and sustainable food system.

Eventually, with increased global awareness about food issues (the COVID-19 lockdown was a

striking example) this approach now offers a profitable potential market, attracting new

entrepreneurs and established food companies, alike.

However, this approach is very challenging to scale, and so; the efforts that are still stabilizing their business model, must now also find a balance between ethics and profit-driven approaches.

  • Sustainable Food Systems
  • Farm-to-Table Concept
  • Short Supply Chain
  • Food Production and Consumption
  • Social and Solidarity Awareness
  • Alternative Business Models
  • Food Distribution and Logistics
  • Local Food and Food Safety
  • Cooperative Businesses
  • Scale Ups

Lyon City Centre and Greater Lyon

  • Greater Lyon: Des Clarines Farm – Petite Pioche Farm, Quintillière Farm, Lacaunes Farm, Uniferme, La Super Halle, VRAC.
  • Lyon: Local Markets, GRAP, Le Bieristan, Grenade, La Cuisine Itinérante, Les Halles de la Martinière, Lyon City Hall.

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