Industrial and territorial ecology




Location: Paris, France

Sector: M-T, Sales and services

Analysis by the association: March 2018

Food banks.


The project was born from a double observation:  

1. Large stocks of meat from METRO stores, collected by the Food Bank of Paris Ile de France (BAPIF) are discarded because of:

– sometimes too short DLC does not allow associations to redistribute them in time;

– regulations (Garot law since 2016) that do not allow associations to recover meat parts in large packages that do not have the technical capacity to process them 2. The food aid is marked by a deficit of proteins and fresh products of quality.  

The objective is therefore to:

– fight against food waste by using products from BAPIF picks

– create positions and catering trainings, of reception and chocolate organizer for the employees in reintegration

– to improve the nutritional contribution of the food aid by proposing balanced dishes, made by a chef. 

That is why the BAPIF has developed a partnership with the Table de Cana. It is a network of 9 integration companies across France, which has been existing for more than 30 years and employs 260 reintegration workers per year. There are two processing laboratories in Île de France, including the Gennevilliers one, which specializes in the production of buffets, cocktails, meals and the production of bio-fair chocolate. They obtained a derogation from the sanitary approval, allowing them to transform more than 250 kg of meat per week, employing 23 part-time employees, including 15 in reintegration.  

The BACAME circuit is in partnership with an association of redistribution of meals to people the most deprived and a shelter center:

– The Saint Jacques Tower since February 2017 -> 135 meals a week

– APUI The Villagers since May 2018 -> 130 meals a week.

• La Table de Cana – network of 9 reintegration companies throughout France;

• Gennevilliers center :

− 23 part-time employees, including 15 in reintegration;

       −processing of more than 250 kg of meat per week;

       −dishes sold at 1.5 € / kg to distribution organizations (processing price);

       −10,000 meals served since February 2017;

       −4 tons of meat and vegetables saved from waste from the beginning.

  • Industrial and territorial ecology
  • Expansion of product life span
  • Recycling

project operation

Before describing the functionment of La Table de Cana, one must first understand the organization of food banks. There are 79 Food Banks across France, however this project concerns in particular the food bank of Paris-Ile de France (BAPIF) .

The BAPIF recovers nearly 5300 tons of food per year, it is stored at two supply and distribution centers: Arcueil and Gennevilliers, representing a surface of 6000 m² in total. The food is then redistributed to 280 partner associations, as well as the Table de Cana.

These associations offer an average of 10.6 million meals per year which they distribute to 169,000 people per quarter. The stages of making meals by the Table de Cana de Gennevilliers:

The meat comes especially from the METRO store in Paris 18th (two days a week), Villeneuve (two days a week) and Nanterre (four days a week) stores, as well as other pick-ups that also collect vegetables. The signing of an addendum to the convention allows them to pick up meat in bulk packaging, intended for processing.

Sorting is done by BAPIF, in the center of Gennevilliers. The products are identified by origin, type and expiry date and then selected (meat, vegetables and starchy foods) and delivered to the Table de Cana.

The BAPIF delivers the food (approximately 35 kg of meat and 30 kg of vegetables or starches according to the arrivals) to the processing laboratory every Thursday morning. The preparation of meals requires between 2 and 4 hours for a total of 4 people and a production manager. Approximately 130 meals are prepared each week, recipes change constantly, depending on the products available.

The meat is cooked at over 63 ° C, thus extending the product life of 3 days. Cooked dishes are between 330g and 440g, depending on demand (or larger INOX tray size) and are delivered to the Tour Saint Jacques. The dishes are sold against a solidarity contribution of 1.5 € / kg.

Diagram of operation of the BACAME project

sustainable approach

• Reducing food waste and therefore CO2 emissions by maximizing unsold food and extending the life of products through processing.

• Limitation of the carbon footprint related to transport: all the stages take place within the same geographical area.

Several aspects allow to limit or offset the costs associated with the BACAME project, without creating a real economic benefit:

  • Low raw material supply costs for making meals through the use of food donations made to BAPIF;
  • Transformation and delivery costs covered by the subsidies received and the higher solidarity contribution requested from the associations
  • Distribution of meals supported by voluntary associations.


However, this initiative can not survive without:

  • other activities parallels of La Table de Cana: caterer, chocolatier and reception organizer that allows the company to generate income
  • grants received up to 90% by CRIF (stop since June 2018), DRIAAF and ADEME³ . 


Figure 1. Distribution of the project operating costs according to the different categories of expenditure (figure given by the Table de Cana)

Solidarity participation represents the remaining 10% to be covered in order to obtain a neutral economic balance sheet (compensation for transformation, delivery costs and salaries for employees, Figure 1).

There are two social benefits: 

  • the company trains people in reintegration by teaching them the trades of catering: apprentices, professional supervisors and volunteers build together a personalized integration path within the framework of a contract of work in fixed-term go up to 2 years
  • it also allows you to prepare balanced and homemade meals for people in need.

replicability & future perspectives

The Table de Cana has already proved its reproducibility from the point of view of social inclusion: the network is already made up of 9 entities, distributed throughout France. Nevertheless, the specificity of the BACAME circuit is based on the proximity of the kitchens with the warehouse of BAPIF (Gennevilliers), allowing the recovery of unsold food. The quantities of food available, as well as the demand, are specific to Île de France and an adaptation to the region is required. In addition, the company has only one associative partnership, these are difficult to implement, given the higher price of meals but are nevertheless essential to the implementation of the initiative.

  • Low production volumes that can not generate profits
  • Higher meal costs associated with more elaborate menus that are sometimes difficult to get from distribution associations with low budget and unstablished needs
  • Create and adapt the meals according to the products available and the quantities collected
  • Maintain existing partnerships (grants and associations) and create new ones.
  • Find new partner associations
  • Find new financing and eventually reduce the share of subsidies
  • Increase production capacity by investing in processing equipment and collecting from other METRO stores
  • From here two years, reach the goal of 100 meals per day (25 000 per year), saving 5 tons of meat per year
  • Self-service operation planned soon to create new partnerships: 3 weeks during which dishes will be served € 0.15 / kg so that the associations can test
  • Find a new partner association following the end of the hosting of the project by BAPIF resulting in the end of deliveries of dishes to their partner associations.


  • Garot Law¹ =Law passed in February 2016, preventing supermarkets from disposing of food and rendering unsold goods unfit for consumption. It makes mandatory the use of an agreement for donations made between a food distributor and a charity, for more information: / AGRX1531165L / jo / text.

  • Participation of solidarity² = “tariff” specific to the operation of the food bank, asked the associations of redistribution of products to cover the logistics costs of collection, staff, storage and processing. No added value can be realized for tax-free products.

  • CRIF – DRIAAF – ADEME³ = The CRIF – Regional Council of Île de France – subsidized up to 50% processing and other expenses, the termination of this grant is due to the termination of project hosting by the BAPIF. The DRIAAF – Regional and Interdepartmental Directorate of Food, Agriculture and Forestry – subsidizes the transformation to 20% as ADEME – Agency for the Environment and Energy Management.

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