What's the greenest supermarché in France?

Sustainability is highest on my list of where to shop - and what to buy - closely followed by how much I can afford, and often the other way round.

In the UK, I have decades of experience so no trouble firmly recommending the Co-Op as the most sustainable nationally available Supermarket there.

There are also hundreds of fabulous small supermarkets that are well worth going on some sort of green tourist list.

I thought we could discuss it and then vote for our favourites...the SFN Greenest supermarket award?

Hi, check this: http://greenretailingnews.blogspot.fr/2009/07/french-supermarket-chain-eleclerc.html


the Co-Op were the first supermarket to have a green policy in the UK and their support for Fair Trade has been vital. Their policy is biased towards local produce wherever possible and their packaging is reduced and recycled in much bigger percentages than the others. Plus their often smaller, more local shops are greener for those reasons...easier to get to-from without a car. They also were the first to stock their own brand toiletries and cosmetics not tested on animals..BUAV approved.http://www.co-operative.coop/corporate/ethics-and-sustainability/

Hello Dominique, for sure, Local Markets can't be beaten for sustainability...they are absolutely the best places to shop for fresh produce, but unfortunately we can't all afford to do that. When I say can't, I really mean can't. I'm not describing choice. For some people, saving a euro here and there really does make all the difference and it can be a luxury to be able to spend an extra 5 - 15 euro a week on local/organic fruit and veg. Supermarkets are not all baddies. Some sell local fresh food and because they can stock and turn over more, it doesn't always have to mean less money for farmers. The CO-OPs have a fairtrade policy too.

I had an interesting experience recently at our market, when a "local" farmer tried to sell me garlic at 4 times the going rate. I asked why, and she claimed only her garlic was local, and everyone else was selling cheap spanish imports, but other traders then invited me to see their fields and banned her from returning. She was lying.

Two of our neighbours have recommended Le Grand Frais…not on our doorstep but only 20-30 minutes drive away at Orange Sud…so will give it a whirl. I buy a lot at our Bio-Coop in Vaison…
Toiletries at Lidl otherwise our market here which is great.

I realize it is all about supermarkets, but why buy in supermarkets?

The only things I buy there (Leclerc, closest one, best fish) are fish, toiletry and cleaning stuff, Meat from Terres du Sud since our local butcher has closed down the rest from the local market, cheaper fresher and mostly local.

Well let us hope that GF spreads across france a little.

It seems to be doing well and that is because someone has looked outside

that box and developed something which was a little different and special.

Maybe not bio but green in the sense that its existence and vivid displays

encourage people to buy and try more fruits and vegies.

Hello David & Barbera, with no LeGrand Frais (LGF) Super U is at the top of my own list locally so far, but as I point out above, we're a bit limited in poitou-Charentes as to choice. We have one set of franchised bio-co-ops, but I can hardly ever afford to go through the door.

ps, my "replies" arn't showing under the correct responses...does anyone know why?

Hello Brian :) I had to google Le Grand Frais as we don't have any in Poitou-Charentes. I'd love to know why. Segoléne Royale is apparently quite strict about her own eco-poilicies lately, so maybe they didn't cut her mustard, or maybe they'll only deal with ex-hubby Holland! I shall dig around a bit if I get time and see what I can find out.

I love to shop in Grand Frais. The choice of fruit & vegetables is second to none and it's always top quality at a good price. However, in terms of their green credentials I see very few products labelled as "bio" and many of their products seem to come from the other side of the world. Red onions from New Zealand and garlic from Chile for example. For more local fruit & veg then the discount supermarkets like Lidl are often a good bet.

But my favourite fruit & veg is sold by a man who comes to our village in a beaten up old van every Friday. He sells mostly local products and will tell you exactly where they are from. Always the best value and quality.

Which one of you will I bump into first as I purchase mangestins or

purple basil at Grand Frais.....bright green or just fresh Grand Frais has

a great selection of goodies to cook which please the eye, palat and


It appears to be working well for customers and seems to be

a success story.....I love to hear success stories.

Do you?

I can't agree with Brian. There is no evidence to suggest that Grand Frais which I like very much is any more environmentally friendly than any other retailer. I do pplaud Super U for trying to reduce the palm oil content of its offering. Some hope for the orang outans. Essentially there's no such thing as a green supermarket. Regarding the Co-op; in UK we did a lot of shopping there and got the divi. But green I doubt it if the price of duck was anyhting to go by. Very good duck by the way.

Le Grand Frais without a doubt, if that qualifies as a supermarché. We buy different things in different places because of the variability here and the fact that the big chains mostly split between own brands and local sourcing which means that they are never uniform.