Coop Netherlands has rolled out potatoes from the sustainable food brand Onze Markt in more than 300 Coop supermarkets.
The retailer says it is the first supermarket chain to put products from the sustainable food brand on store shelves.
The move gives consumers a voice in the food chain as Onze Markt is a citizens' initiative that brings 'honest' food products from Dutch soil to the supermarket shelves, Coop Netherlands said.
Through its website, consumers filled in a questionnaire about the desired origin of the first product that is now on the shelves at Coop – the sustainably grown Dutch potato.
In the questionnaire, consumers expressed their wishes about matters such as cultivation method, degree of sustainability, tillage and pesticides, the desired shape and size of the potatoes, whether they should be washed or unwashed, and which type of potato is preferred.
With the input from the questionnaires, Onze Markt makes a product selection, so that a product that matches the consumer's wishes comes into the store.
Minne Baukema, initiator of Onze Markt, said, "We connect farmers and consumers. Together we bring fair products to the supermarket. In addition, we develop an understanding of the price structure. We are proud of our partnership with Coop and pleased that our products are now more widely available."
Coop Netherlands is the first partner of Onze Markt.
Jasper de Jong, head of category management, added, "Our customers are enthusiastic. They think it is a good initiative. They like the idea that they can also influence the price of a product with this.
"It is good for farmers because via Onze Markt they reduce the distance between products and the consumer and create an understanding of their price structure. Finally, the idea fits perfectly with our cooperative idea."