European Year for Development

European Year for Development

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The story of Souk el Tayeb An experimental farmer´s market

Souk el Tayeb is a social entrepreneurship initiative that began as a weekly farmer’s market promoting small-scale farmers and producers, and slowly evolved into a bigger organisation involved in capacity building and awareness rising to consumers. Souk el Tayeb small scale farmers are also able to access market to through weekly farmer’s markets, food exhibitions, eco-restaurants and supermarkets.The initiative was founded in 2004 by Kamal Mouzawak, creating Lebanon’s first farmers market, as a non-profit social venture, where farmers would pay a participation fee funding organisational expenses. Since then, it expanded through several for-profit extensions, but keeping its core objective of giving fair market opportunities to small scale traditional and organic products. Profits from the commercial extension fund Souk el Tayeb’s operational expenses and activities.Souk el Tayeb employs 11 staff member full time and gathers 100 farmers. Clients are mainly upper and middle-class Lebanese with a high environmental awareness.

“Souk el Tayeb is a non-profit /social entrepreneurship project. By putting in direct contact the customers – looking for quality /local products – and farmers /producers growing those products on a small scale – we are able to impact positively the livelihood of small scale farmers who would not have made it in traditional business (i.e. they were forced to sell at a loss their production to wholesalers whom in turn would distribute them to the market) the objective being to support small scale farmers and producers and help them sell their products directly to customers through our various distribution channels which include : farmers market in Beirut, farmer’s kitchen (Tawlet Beirut and regional Tawlet), Dekenet (the farmers’ shop) as well as regional food festivals.”
Christine Codsi, Owner, Souk El Tayeb for Food Sarl 

 

How do we build a better environment?

Souk el Tayeb provides market opportunities through its weekly market and its restaurants to organic farming products which are grown following environmental protection principles. Farmers that want to display their products on this market have to comply with strict rules and regulations defined by the organisers.

Souk el Tayeb also gives capacity building and consultancy services to farmers on green and organic practices for agriculture promoting and mainstreaming further these practices in the food sector.

Another objective of Souk el Tayeb is to promote traditional and local farming products, helping thus the conservation of local biodiversity by conserving local species. Moreover, the promotion of local products helps fighting climate change, reducing by principle CO2 emissions.

How do we care for our community?

Souk el Tayeb is a system innovation that benefits to consumers health by increasing the availability of organic food in Lebanon. Moreover, Souk el Tayeb also develops awareness raising campaigns and education programs in schools to promote healthy lifestyles, creating a community caring for the sustainable products. Finally, it provides capacity building to farmers enhancing this specific economic fabric.

The organization plays also a role in the conservation of the culture heritage, promoting traditional products and practices in the food sector.

Another objective of Souk el Tayeb is to promote traditional and local farming products, helping thus the conservation of local biodiversity by conserving local species. Moreover, the promotion of local products helps fighting climate change, reducing by principle CO2 emissions.

How do we create economic value for our employees and community?

The core objective of Souk el Tayeb is to offer a platform for small farmers to sell their products at a fair price, supporting thus a community of around 500 people. In this sense, the platform helps small farmers to obtain recognition of their products’ added value, through Souk el Tayeb branding, resulting in higher prices. Moreover, the Souk el Tayeb for-profit extensions (restaurants and shops) give a steady source of income to their providers.

food sector.

Another objective of Souk el Tayeb is to promote traditional and local farming products, helping thus the conservation of local biodiversity by conserving local species. Moreover, the promotion of local products helps fighting climate change, reducing by principle CO2 emissions.

About the partner

United Nations Environment Programme     unep.org

Established in 1972, UNEP is the voice for the environment within the UN system. UNEP acts as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment. More...