Tunisia’s first consumer co-operative has launched a weekly market fair to sell agricultural products.
“The market of the co-op” initiative, which opened in Belvédère, Tunis, on 19 September, will bring together small local producers, farmers and craftsmen every Saturday for two months, allowing people to buy fresh products from local producers while supporting the local economy.
Tunisie Coop hopes the event – co-op’s first initiative since it launched in March – will help create a social connection between producers and consumers, encourage sustainable farming and consumption, and attract more members to the co-operative.
Co-op president Naoufel Haddad says the project is inspired by his visit to a Japanese federation of consumer co-operatives, Seikatsu Club.
Agriculture continues to play an important role in Tunisia’s economy, accounting for over 12% of the GDP and employing almost a quarter of the labour force.
While the organic market continues to grow, domestic demand for organic products is not high. Tunisie Coop aims to encourage consumers to buy more local quality products, developing an “agriculture of proximity” by working with producers based within 60km of each other.