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SAVE FOOD: Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

How a Russian farmers' cooperative tries to save food

27 Oct 2016

LavkaLavka is a Moscow-based farmers' cooperative that was established in order to provide Russian farmers with an opportunity to sell their produce.

In 2009 the company's founder Boris Akimov, a popular journalist and artist, started a blog where he posted stories about farms and farmers and offered his readers to buy their produce. The demand was so strong that he soon opened an online store. Today LavkaLavka unites more than 200 farms throughout Russia. The cooperative has opened 5 retail stores in Moscow, a big farmers' market, an online store, two farmers’ cafes and two farmers’ restaurants.

The main aims of LavkaLavka are:

  • to improve the living conditions of rural populations in Russia;
  • to preserve and revitalize family-owned farms;
  • to promote organic farming and a sustainable lifestyle.

There is a strong social message behind the activity of the company. We believe that food is more than just food. Quality food is a way to change our world for the better.

We value food very much – because we know exactly how much time and effort it takes to produce every single product. Therefore from the very beginning we tried to minimize the amount of wasted and lost food.

First of all, we try to promote responsible consumption among our customers.

  1. The produce that we sell has to be ordered at least two days in advance. This way our customers usually plan their menu and buy only those products that they really intend to eat (rather than impulsively filling their trolley in a supermarket and then ending up throwing away half of the products they bought).
  2. We have our own newspaper (online and print) where we publish stories about farmers: the way they live, what they believe in and what's special about their produce. When you know the story behind the food on your plate you're much less likely to throw this food away.
  3. We organize different events – festivals and workshops – where we promote “nose-to-tail” eating. We show people that there's more to a cow than the filet!

Besides raising awareness among our customers we have several ways to save food at our stores.

Usually, about 6% of perishable products are not sold by their expiration date. Of these products, 1% is sold with 50% discount on the day before the expiration date.

1 % is frozen  and then processed by our own manufacture (we produce traditional Russian food like pelmeni and vareniki and also juices and jams). Furthermore, 1% is used at the kitchen of LavkaLavka Cafe.

A further 1% is distributed among LL employees with a big discount and the remaining 1% is used as animal feed.

Further resources

LavkaLavka website

 

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