I am more than my receipt
I am more than my receipt
I am more than my receipt (in Dutch: Ik ben meer dan mijn kassaticket) is a Belgian civic movement to make sustainable food the new normal. But don’t expect to see that just by looking at your receipt.
The attitude-behaviour gap
Research shows that most people are convinced of the importance of caring for the environment, tackling climate change, eating healthier food and paying fair prices. People have been much less successful in living up to these beliefs when it comes to making their shopping choices in supermarkets. Excuses include that it is just too difficult, they have too little time, and it is just too expensive. Together with our 6 partners,we want to overcome this attitude-behaviour gap.
Sustainable consumption relies on a niche market segment.
Consumers can help promote a more sustainable food system through the choices they make when shopping. Consumers have shown a positive attitude and willingness to do so, but all kinds of stumbling blocks seem to come up once they are in the shop. These include high prices, limited choice, and inconvenience, among others. More than 80% of consumers want to shop in a more sustainable manner, yet only 16% follow through when it comes to their behaviour.
The consumer is a passive player.
While the consumer is often seen as 'the problem' in the discussion about sustainable food, they are seldom really involved in the conversation.
Supermarkets have leverage, but are not yet fully taking advantage of it.
Most people in Belgium buy their food in supermarkets that have the necessary tools and expertise to promote sustainable choices. They have been able to make sustainable shopping the new normal through supply chain adaptations, targeted promotions and advertising, and redesigned shopping environments. Despite a plethora of promising initiatives, fierce price competition has hindered many of them from being the first to take big steps in this direction.
Sustainability is often defined in a very one-sided manner
Fortunately, ecological matters are receiving more and more attention (less packaging, energy consumption, pesticides, etc.). However, the economic pillar (viable prices for farmers) and the social pillar (e.g. inclusion of disadvantaged groups) are still too often forgotten when it comes to sustainable food.
We are now exploring new options as we bring together supermarket managers, consumers and the relevant experts in their role as regular citizens.
We are strengthening support for sustainable consumption
Together with our partners, we are reaching a large audience and really putting the issue on the public agenda.
We are giving a voice to a large group of "imperfect consumers" who want to, but fail to, consume sustainably. Through workshops, an online column series with questions directed at supermarkets, a seasonal vegetable fair, and an award, among other things, we offer concrete ways for people to contribute to solutions.
We engage in a dialogue with supermarkets and their sustainability experts about their ambitions, challenges and obstacles when it comes to making sustainable food the new normal. We exert positive pressure by highlighting the need for realistic initiatives that can have a long-term impact.
''I am more than my receipt” is a Rikolto (Vredeseilanden) initiative in collaboration with Fairtrade Belgium, Ferm (a women’s organisation rooted in the farmers’ movement), Femma (a women’s organisation rooted in the labour movement), Gezinsbond (a family union) and Test Aankoop (a consumer association). Each of these organisations has its own unique approach to food. Together they represent more than one million consumers in Belgium.
- We have launched a coalition of 6 civil society organisations, each of whom is working on sustainable food from its own perspective. Together we are reaching more than 1 million people in Belgium alone.
- More than 6,000 people are following the campaign closely and have participated in at least one of the activities.
- In 2018, we organised a "Dear supermarket" question-and-answer column series. Consumers submitted their sustainable food questions to supermarkets in collaboration with parenting blog Maison Slash.
- 5,000 people participated in our 2018 seasonal vegetable challenge. With the help of Belgian television chef Sofie Dumont, they cooked with seasonal vegetables alone for one whole week. Supermarkets were challenged to give seasonal vegetables more visibility.
- In 2019, we organised 15 “I am more than my receipt” workshops. Consumers engaged in a dialogue with local supermarket managers as well as marketing and consumer behaviour experts.
- In 2019, we started the “I am more than my receipt” Award in collaboration with De Standaard and Gondola. We highlighted supermarket initiatives that brought sustainable food into the mainstream.