La Poirendeux is the story of Adrien and Margaux who, like many young Axonans, after high school, wanted to leave the countryside and go to make their life in the city… After having stayed in Lille for 10 years, both coming from commercial trades, they decide to return to the country with the will to support the agricultural sector through their contribution of skills in order to value the complex and exciting trades that are those of agricultural production. In 2021, they launched an online farmers’ market marketing local food products (Aisne, Oise, Somme and, more broadly, Hauts-de-France). After ordering on the site, consumers can pick up their orders at one of the 8 weekly collection points, which are run by themselves and are mostly located in rural areas, generally not well served by this type of platform. The idea is to create weekly meetings that are conducive to exchanges. An opportunity for them to be ambassadors for producers. La Poirendeux effectively brings its communication skills, producing different content promoting local products and know-how.
Presentation of the project
Margaux and Adrien’s project was born from the observation that it is sometimes difficult for consumers to understand the complexity of production jobs and to remember that behind a product, there are men/women and therefore social issues. Moreover, it is not always easy to consume local food and, above all, to tour the farms takes time. This logic also applies to producers, who do not always have the resources, networks and/or skills to ensure the distribution of their products, either through logistics (to go around the points of sale) or through communication (to make known their products). Combining Adrien’s significant logistical experience with Margaux’s creative and relational assets, the couple created a website that brings together local producers (selected according to their farming techniques and values) and highlights who they are and their work. This includes giving them the opportunity to benefit from better exposure thanks to the collective of producers, but also to provide simple and quick access to local food for consumers. When they left their jobs in October 2020 to devote themselves entirely to the project, Margaux and Adrien each received training through their CPF accounts: ▪ Margaux in Digital Marketing, Facebook and Copywriting, which helped develop upstream communication in order to form a community already engaged in the project when the site was launched and to show producers a glimpse of what they could offer them in terms of communication and promotion. ▪ Adrien received training in Web Development – WordPress, in order to understand the developers with whom they were going to work and to be able to understand computer language. This project is not only commercial: it aims to highlight agricultural professions, short circuits and also has a “pedagogical” objective. Adrien and Margaux want to play a real role of correspondence between producers and consumers, helping them understand each other and recreating a link. This project helps to redefine the role of the intermediary, by upgrading it: it is not just a question of selling a product, but of adding value to the know-how at the service of the local agricultural sector. The project will:
▪ Purchase of a refrigerated van and cold storage rooms to store food in accordance with hygiene standards.
▪ Purchase of storage, transportation and user-friendly sales stand equipment;
▪ Acquiring a tablet (to accompany people who are not comfortable with digital);
▪ The acquisition of photographic and video equipment to produce “reports” that go a little further, always in an effort to understand between consumers and producers. After two years of activity, Margaux and Adrien have federated some 50 producers but still struggle to earn a salary, which requires adjustments to their model by diversifying their activities. For example, they plan to develop an event service to offer their logistical expertise to organizers of weddings, seminars, tourist and cultural events, etc. who seek to promote local products in their activities. The emergence of a Territorial Food Project also offers other development opportunities, whether for tourism operators or out-of-home catering.
The emblematic character of the project
Like many rural areas, the Pays Picard – Vallées de l’Oise et de l’Ailette is characterized, somewhat paradoxically, by a lack of coordination between actors in the agricultural sector. While the COVID-19 health crisis has brought a renewed focus on agricultural trades and local products, it has also revealed glaring shortcomings in distribution and marketing that require know-how that is not necessarily available to all producers, who are often overwhelmed by production activities. It has also demonstrated the lack of coordination and networking, which is why the Pays Picard – Vallées de l’Oise et de l’Ailette embarked on the development of a Territorial Food Project (PAT) in 2022. Poirendeux is perceived locally as a first experiment in logistical coordination of a group of local producers with a distribution as close as possible to the inhabitants. Indeed, unlike other online producer markets, Poirendeux stands out for the proliferation of outsourcing points, most of which are located in secondary poles outside urban areas. La Poirendeux complements as much as it does markets, which are aimed at a different clientele, and producer shops, which are generally located in urban centers and are less flexible in their operating methods: logistics provided by La Poirendeux, possibility of adjusting the distribution strategy, etc. The project by Margaux and Adrien thus contributes to improving accessibility to local products, while offering the opportunity to raise awareness as close as possible to consumers, who thus discover the gastronomic richness of the territory.
Pays Picard – Vallées de l’Oise et de l’Ailette