Organic shopping in Geneva: What to look for
Organic businesses are on the rise in Geneva, so what should you look out for when shopping for bio products?
8 Apr 2021

Geneva is transforming into a green city and an increasing number of businesses are offering organic products. What should you be on the lookout for when shopping for bio products?

An environmental epicentre

Geneva – a city known for watchmaking, finance and diplomacy has been active in environmental governance for over half a century. From the establishment of the Geneva Environment Network in 1999 to ambitious local measures including the pursuit of a completely renewable energy policy by 2050, the city has long been involved in promoting sustainable initiatives.

Given this historic link to environmental affairs and the current push to adopt policies outlined in the United Nations’ Agenda 2030, it comes as no surprise that Geneva boasts a large number of establishments geared towards supplying organic and sustainable products. Also known as bio stores, these businesses offer natural goods produced without the use of methods such as genetic engineering, chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

The high number and concentration of these businesses in the city, as well as the variety of products on offer, begs the question of which organic goods are the most interesting to Geneva consumers. To answer this, UN Today reached out to a number of organic commercial establishments across the city; asking them what their most attractive set of bio products on offer is and why they would recommend it.

Marché de Vie
Rue des Eaux-Vives 25, Geneva

Firstly, the Marché de Vie, located two blocks from the famous Jet d’Eau, has existed since the early 1970s and supplies a wide variety of organic products; aiming to respect both human health and that of the planet. Moreover, the store offers large amounts of locally sourced fresh food as well as kitchen supplies, body care products and healthy drinks.
In contacting the business, we were told that there is a wide range of goods – each one with a different specificity – available for those wanting to eat healthily, who have health issues such as allergies or who want to boost their immune system. Such products are recommended to individuals wanting to adopt or continue a healthy lifestyle, although the endorsement of particular brands would largely depend on the specific item in question due to the large number of different brands in stock.

Rue des Eaux-Vives 80, Geneva

We also contacted L’Arcade – an organic shop based in the popular Eaux-Vives district that is committed to the environment and strives to advocate for social and educational development in the community. It stocks products sourced from Geneva’s surrounding countryside and operates on a short supply chain model to ensure optimal quality, traceability and freshness of goods.

Speaking with Léa, an employee at L’Arcade, we were told that they recommend their fruits and vegetables that are both locally sourced and produced according to seasonal factors that are prioritized by the establishment. Such goods are delivered every two to three days by small and local producers via the aforementioned short supply circuits; allowing for access to extremely fresh and unique varieties of products that are, in the vast majority of cases, local to Switzerland. While apples and pears are some of the best sellers, all of their fruit and vegetable products are recommended to consumers as delicious and healthy natural goods with a guarantee of freshness.

A bio future?

Ultimately, while we only heard from two bio businesses, it is clear that there are numerous similar establishments all over Geneva that offer organic, naturally sourced and environmentally friendly products geared towards consumers’ specific wants and needs.
As Geneva implements a growing number of initiatives crafted around the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, the number of bio stores and demand for organic goods could increase even further as consumers may observe and emulate the environmentally friendly path that the city has chosen to follow.

That said, why not take the opportunity to visit one such bio establishment? If nothing else, such a trip would allow for a different experience, the potential discovery of an exciting new product and continued support for the local economy.

Bio businesses pride themselves on the healthiness and quality of their products.
* Daniel Hannell is a year 12 Student at the International School of Geneva.
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