Last updated on 22/12/2015
Brussels food solutions: la Ruche qui dit oui
All of the news we hear about our food - all this GMO talk, meat safety, and mass production practices - can successfully traumatize us. It’s ok, take a deep breath. BrusselsLife.be did some investigation and dug up a local solution that is mostly organic and always from ethical agriculture methods. Let’s all say yes to the initiative that makes this all possible: la Ruche qui dit oui (the Colony that says yes). It’s the solution that directly connects the producer with the consumer.
What would you say to being able to build your own basket of seasonal foods every week? They are often organic and always local, and they guarantee that Belgian producers can distribute the fruits of their labor in a dignified manner. La Ruche qui dit oui has been providing this option in Brussels for a year now, giving people the option to change their consuming habits!
In contrast with GASAP and other organic food baskets, la Ruche qui dit oui has no obligations. You purchase depending on your needs, from week to week or month to month.
How does it work?
Step 1: Sign-up with a Colony
To become a part of a colony (Ruche), start by signing up on the site. Right now, two colonies are up and running: the first in Forest and the second in Auderghem. Others have started up in Ixelles and Jette. Others are still under construction in Uccle, Watermael-Boitsfort, and in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert. If the colony closest to you has not yet started, just temporarily sign-up with another one until yours is ready to go.
Step 2: Place your order
It’s very simple. The local producers offer the colony a certain quantity of apples, yogurts, squash, etc. on their website. The consumers order what they would like. Once the producer is sure to sell all of the stock, the order is validated. Your account is then debited.
Here is a video in French that gives a good visual:
Step 3: Go get the basket
Producers all converge at an organized time, place, and date. Generally, it’s the same time every week. The consumers have a 2 hour time block to come and get their purchases. It’s a good chance to meet other farmers, chit chat a bit, or taste some of the products.
What sorts of products can you find?
Every colony works with their own producers who are all within a 250 km. radius around Brussels. So the products may vary a bit. Fruits, vegetables, cheeses, milk, yogurt, pastries, juice, jam, bread, honey, meet, fruit wines, and soap are all available.
We compared the Ruche products to their organic equivalents in the supermarket. Most of the time, the Ruche products are less expensive. But the real advantage lies in the fact that we know where, how, and by whom the products were produced. Not to mention, as the intermediary is cut out, the farmer does not have to lower prices and can thus make an honest living.