JUSTE is a farmer brand from Vendée, Pays de la Loire promoting fair remuneration and clear traceability of the products thank to the Block-Chain technologies.
The viability of the farm sector in France is a real problematic. The main issue beeing the low prices of products (with consequences on the farm sector attractiveness for young people and the renewing of generation for instance).
Furthermore, the food-chain security and reliability is questionned, in correlation with increasing consumers expectancies (breeding, quality, origin, …).
The brand JUSTE, which means "Fair" in French targets three dimensions to answer those problematics:
- economic/financial with a fair remuneration for farmers
- organizational through traceability of the products and food circuit as short as possible
- educative since farmers involved in JUSTE and its management (who are called “agri-ambassador”) are highly engaged in communicating about their profession and its realities, to (re)create a direct and healthy relationship between farmers and consumers.
One of the strengh of this good practice comes from the fact that it results from the agreement between all members of the agirfood chain:
Farmers, Unions of farmers (FDSEA85, Jeunes Agriculteurs de Vendée, FNSEA44, Jeunes Agriculteurs de Loire-Atlantique) and several food sector operators, industrials and distributors engaged side to side with JUSTE : La Coopérative d’Herbauges, La Laiterie de Saint-Denis-de-l’Hôtel, Melli’Ouest, les supermarchés U, …From farmers to retailers they all negociate to get the best and fairer action for farmers, and consumers, through transarency.
140K€ were necessary for the launching of this initiative. It was funded by a Union of Farmer. The Region Council also supports the initiative, as well as other layers of the public authorities by promoting JUSTE. During the lockdown the Region ordered 15 000 litters of milk for charities to JUSTE.
Evidence of success
JUSTE is about to celebrate its two years old. During timelapse about 1,5 million litres of milk and two thousands honey pot were sold under its brand, bringing a decent amount of additional value to the farmers. The positive communication carried on with the consumers also permitted to (re)educate them and create a virtuous circle. Today, JUSTE is expending: from beef meat to wine, the brand also explore new territories and shorter circuits (from Vendée to Vendée for example).
Two main challenges were encountered: One linked to the high price compared to similar products in supermarkets (linked to the fair remuneration of farmers) and the other one to the traceability of the products (the farmers had to find adequate solution providers for this technical part).
Potential for learning or transfer
JUSTE is a brand, a concept created by farmers unions as a way to protect farmers on both salaries and quality of their products. It was declined as JUSTE & VENDEEN for the territory of Vendée, and is now legally transferable to any French territory that would like to use the brand and concept (as long as they will respect its rules). The European transferability, is not excluded. Any Region can support this type of initiative although JUSTE is deeply rooted in the French farmer network and its problematics.
The all point of JUSTE is to prove to all agri-food actors that a fair remuneration is possible. This brand shows that this is possible.
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