A mobile, solidarity-based preserving facility

  • 2018-11-21 16:27:43
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  • Eclaira.org
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  • Main leader : La Coopération entre trois lieux : Maisons de quartier de Romans-sur-Isère
  • Type of initiative : Initiative involving different people (collective, etc.)
  • Valence-Romans Agglo, Arches Agglo et communes voisines
  • Romans sur Isère
  • Start date : janvier 2017

The mobile preserving facility organizes participatory awareness activities for healthy, local food, close to where people live (on village squares, in neighbourhoods, at markets and during local events).

The fruits and vegetables used come from about thirty local, organic-certified growers who give away their excess or declassified products that would not otherwise be recoverable. They are made available by the growers or harvested by gleaning and by organized picking hikes with local residents.

The goal is to make these quality, healthy products available, especially to families in difficulty. Preserves are distributed by sale on the day of production, given away to the people who help to make them and put up for sale in community centres via their purchasing groups. They are sold in euros or in time-base currency

Qualitative benefits

  • Raising awareness about food and consumption patterns: promotion of short circuits, local, organic food, the fight against waste.
  • Creating local momentum: link between the rural and the urban, promotion of local growers, link with local authorities and social centres, organization of events throughout the area, involvement in the momentum Local Start-up.
  • Changing practices and developing the power to act: participatory project, increasing the competence of resident involved in manufacturing, knowledge sharing, promotion of “consom’action” (responsible consumption), taking part in the sustainable economic development of the area.
  • Economic development: response to the operating needs of social centres, support for the development of local farmers, a tool to diversify the activities of growers (potential additional income), work with local companies, a concept that can be reproduced elsewhere in France.

Stages of the initiative

Thinking in the three social centres in Romans-sur-Isère about access to healthy, organic, local food for resident, in particular those in difficulty.

Since 2015: Integration in the Local Start-up momentum initiated by the Archer Group

June 2017: A small group of residents, members of community centres working on the topic of food, made a study trip to the province of Liège to learn more about a mobile preserve project developed there. 

Summer 2017: the first workshops were launched without the vehicle, to involve residents and growers, to communicate about the project and to test group leadership methods

Autumn 2017: SERT, a company in Romans specializing in food logistics, delivered the mobile, solidarity-based preserving facility. The preserving facility had its first outing in October.

Some time was needed to adapt to the highly technical equipment, the bottling process itself and strict sanitary standards.

Starting in winter caused some pitfalls, as the events take place outdoors.


The mobile preserving facility is attracting the interest of many people both locally and nationally.

There is room for a significant amount of progress as to the quantities that can be recovered, representing a potential for increasing yields and diversifying activities.

Areas of activity

  • Agriculture
  • Food
  • Health


  • Food
  • Use

Technical resources

  • Lorry + equipment
  • Deposit system for the storage jars

Devices, tools or methodologies

  • Participatory and cooperative dynamics with people in the area
  • Social innovation concept: residents are involved in the project
  • Integration in the Local Start-up momentum.

In addition, the Cooperation is carrying out work to assess the social impact. It is in contact with Afnor, CAF, the Red Cross, and local businesses.

Work on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and social impact assessment approach. A tool created: the social impact flower. Assessment approach based on resident participation and on the involvement of other people in the area (local authorities, companies, etc.).

Human resources

The preserving facility relies on the increasing skills of volunteer residents trained in bottling techniques and compliance with standards related to food production.

One person is employed part-time to provide the link between social centres, growers, the towns in the Valence-Romans area and all the organizations likely to call on the preserving facility. The project also regularly makes use of the three group leaders in the Romans social centres.

In order to find an economic model allowing the project to enjoy relative financial independence, La Coopération works with the Agricourt association to intensify the processing activity of the preserving facility. The idea is to give organic growers access to the preserving facility so that they can process and sell their non-economically viable produce otherwise (products in too small quantities, surplus or downgraded).

The mobile preserving facility is arousing interest and will surely be developed elsewhere in France. The approach for assessing the social impact and the assessment tool created by the social centres are also of interest to a number of national organizations.


  • Financeurs
  • Initiactive 2607, La Fondation Caisse d’Épargne Loire Drôme Ardèche, European rural development programme, LA FONDATION BONDUELLE, La CAF de la Drôme, CRÉAVENIR

Costs of the initiative



An investment of approximately €55,000 including tax and annual operating cost of approximately €45,000
 Short circuits
 Social economy
 Local industries
 Local Start-up

Author of the page

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