Why support a social enterprise project for prepared organic fruit and vegetables?

This ambitious project was born from our desire to offer more organic fruit and vegetables in both our company and school restaurants.

The lack of organic 4th range* fruit and vegetables in institutional catering was a major obstacle to expanding our organic offer, so we contacted our partner Keuffer (a family of market gardeners since 1979), who rose to the challenge brilliantly.

The creation of the social enterprise : the “légumerie“*

After a feasibility study conducted in 2022 in collaboration with Keuffer and the Polyval Foundation (social enterprise with an industrial mission), work on the organic “legumerie”* began in March 2023.

This project is supported by Novae via its historical support fund for local agricultural partners.

In May 2023, the three-part project received recognition as a recipient of the Canton of Vaud’s innovation and sustainability fund.

This summer 2023, the first deliveries would be made to some of our restaurants, less than 20 kilometres from the place of production.

After several weeks of pilot testing, the first social enterprise for organic vegetable processing in French-speaking Switzerland will officially open its doors in autumn 2023!

Novae restaurants expect to order and cook around 50 tonnes of fruit and vegetables in the first year, with a wide range of products.

Ever faithful to our values, we continue to support the ultra-local, giving priority to our establishments within a radius of less than 75km.

Our goals

This unique, innovative project has multiple aims:

  • Increase the quantity and variety of organic fruits and vegetables in our company and school restaurants.
  • Fight food waste by using “ugly” fruit and vegetables, i.e. products with measurements that are not accepted by mass retailers. These will be cut and packaged in the same way as “correctly sized” fruit and vegetables.
  • Offer professional reintegration opportunities for work in the vegetable industry through the expertise at Polyval and Keuffer’s involvement.

And we don’t plan to stop there!

We are currently looking into other solutions to go further in the fight against food waste, but also to reduce waste production significantly. We look forward to announcing them soon 😊

Our project partners

Partners Novae Keuffer and Polyval - for the first organic and social vegetable factory in French-speaking Switzerland

Glossary

*Prepared organic fruit and vegetable supplier Legumerie: A place specialising in the processing and preparation of fresh fruit and vegetables for collective catering. Operations such as the washing, peeling, cutting and packaging of fruit and vegetables are carried out according to the specific needs of restaurants. Legumeries play an essential role in providing fresh, quality, ready-to-use food to meet the needs of communities, businesses and educational institutions.

*4th range: Fresh, unprocessed products that are prepared and ready to be consumed without requiring additional preparation. These products are vacuum-packed and refrigerated. They include bagged salads, ready-to-cook peeled vegetables, freshly cut fruit, etc.

légumes BIO 4ème gamme Keuffer Novae