After I met last summer with Delphine Cluzel, co-founder of Karibou.ch, I am pleased to present in this article the functioning and the philosophy of this innovative and 100% genevoise web platform, of which I became a regular client after I discovered the diversity and quality of the offered produce, as well as the outstanding service.
It is the will to make available to the greatest number of good quality local products from responsible, fair and environmentally friendly farming, that led to the creation of Karibou.ch.
Products of peasant agriculture are much higher quality than products from intensive farming. The same applies to foods produced in a traditional way, such as long dough process bread or cold pressed vegetable oils. Unfortunately, these products are unknown to the general public and difficult to get because they are not found in mass retail stores. People who wish to purchase them must therefore travel extensively between their homes and the various producers, which is time-consuming and is tedious in the long term.
To overcome this problem, Karibou.ch has applied the concept of the farmers’ market – where various craftsmen, producers and sellers meet – and applied it to e-commerce. Thus, Karibou.ch provides an IT and logistics infrastructure that connects customers and sellers through its online platform, where each vendor has its own e-store. The customer has the opportunity to visit the various stores individually, as he would on a real farmers’ market, to gather information about the producer, the origin of the products and the way they were made, before composing his personalized shopping basket with products selected from vendors of their choice. The basket is then delivered by bicycle, directly to the customer’s home.
This method of sales and distribution allows to work with small farms and independent craftsmen, while guaranteeing them more than 80% margin on their selling price. Grocery stores offering quality products have also been integrated into Karibou.ch network so that customers can compose their own varied and nutritionally balanced baskets with the convenience of home delivery. No need to worry about stores opening hours of the shops, nor to undergo the hustle and bustle of supermarkets at the end of the day!
Karibou.ch founders describe it as an open source platform that recreates the link between customers and food actors, giving the opportunity to buy directly from producers, retailers and craftsmen. Vendors fix prices themselves, which guarantees them a decent and fair remuneration. Sales prices on Karibou.ch platform are not increased: they are the same on the e-store as in the physical shops of various merchants.
How does it work ?
1. Do your shopping
Look at the offer of the different food vendors. If you which, you can gather information about the person who produced and prepared your food. The offer is extensive and includes: fruits and vegetables, pasta, rice, cereals, dried fruits, nuts, dairy products, bakery and butcher’s articles, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, oils, spices, sweets, chocolates and cosmetics.
You compose your shopping basket with the products of your choice, from your favourite producers, in the quantities that you want… It is all up to you! Then your order can be paid directly through Karibou.ch platform.
2. Preparation of your order
The night before delivery, bread and fresh cheese are made. Vegetables are harvested according to the order. This is a guarantee of freshness for you, and limits waste for the producer. The ordered products are then sent to collection points, where fruit, vegetables and groceries are carefully packed in recycled paper bags, while products requiring refrigeration are packed on pretty green colored fresh bags that will be retrieved on the next delivery.
3. Delivery to your door
You choose your place of delivery, according to the available postal codes that are proposed when creating your account. Your order is delivered by bike, which is respectful of the environment and way of guaranty you get your order timely. Deliveries are performed on Tuesdays and Fridays between 4pm and 7pm.
I highly recommend Karibou.ch to all those concerned about the provenance and quality of the food they consume, who wish to enjoy seasonal products while taking care of the environment and guaranteeing a fair remuneration to producers. Also, if like me you hate going to supermarkets, getting your groceries on your doorstep is a real luxury! For now, Karibou.ch delivers in Geneva area only, so you will not be able to enjoy their fantastic products if you work and / or reside on another canton …
If you want to commit to a local and sustainable economy, you can contribute in improving the service offered by Karibou.ch either by working on the software and documentation or simply by giving your opinion on the products, schedules or delivery areas that you would like to benefit from.
I wish you much pleasure to discover Geneva products thanks to Karibou.ch!
Happy tasting and talk to you soon!
PS: Do not hesitate to let me know in the comments about other places offering good quality foo from sustainable farming: good plans are meant to be shared!