For the fourteenth edition of Meet the B Corps, B Lab Europe interviewed Mathilde Tournoux of French B Corp La Ruche qui dit Oui!. Mathilde told us a little bit more about the impact the B Corp Certification has had on the company and the kind of Change La Ruche qui dit Oui! seeks to achieve.
La Ruche qui dit Oui!’s mission is to empower people to build a fair food system. The online plateform enables anyone, anywhere to start their own online farmer’s markets : the Ruches. Thanks to the technology, each local Ruche offers its community of consumers to buy direct from the local food producers.
Tell us a bit about the history of your company.
La Ruche qui dit Oui ! adventure started in 2010 with a simple idea: develop a new way of sourcing and selling local food thanks to the power of the Internet and social networks. Thousands of coding hours later, a web platform was ready, consumer communities were created, producers showed interest in the project, and Ruches organisers orchestrated it all. That’s how on the 21st of September 2011, the first Ruche, a pop-up market amongst neighbours, opened its doors near Toulouse, in the South West of France.
Month after month, Ruches spread across France, eventually conquering Belgium and finally turning to Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy, then the Netherlands, Switzerland and Denmark.
Since 2011, more than 1000 Ruches have been created across Europe, connecting more than 5000 producers and 160 000 members.
Why did you become a B Corp?
B Corps aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems, and to ensure society will enjoy a more shared and durable prosperity for all. That is crucial for la Ruche qui dit Oui !
We want to enable the general public to buy high-quality food while supporting small-scale producers, who create jobs and foster social well-being. This means the money reaches the right people and together we can ensure sustainable farming thrives for generations to come.
What difference has becoming a Certified B Corp made for your company?
We are proud of being a Certified B Corp as it highlights our social engagement and underlines our mission : empower people to build a fair food system.
How did your other staff react to the certification?
We are all happy to be certified and we we will spend the time to explain in detail to our staff the certification criteria and the impact.
What has changed in your organisation as a result of taking the B Impact Assessment?
It is, still, the very beginning.
What does the year ahead hold in store for your company?
A lot of innovative projects ! In 2017, we would like to offer more convenience to our customers and grow our network in the different countries by creating the right tools for everyone to build a fair food system.
Who is your B Corp Love?
There are many engaging projects among the Certified B Corp and we will spend time to know them better. We became aware of the B Corp movement thanks Farmigo, an interesting decentralized model in the food system.
How is your company “Being the Change”?
La Ruche powers the success of sustainable food networks all around the world by creating the right tools for everyone. Bringing power back to producers and consumers, our vision is a world with shorter supply chains where people connect to their food in a better way. By combining technology and sustainable agriculture, we support a fairer world!