English subtitles are available, click on CC...
Adda offers all of this and a lot more.
ADDA is a network of people who trust you. No one checks if you have paid exactly for what you have bought. They let you be in charge of what you want to be in charge of. They encourage you in your projects and help you achieve them.
« ADDA is what it is today thanks to all the people who are part of it, or have been part of it »
The way in...
... is the grocery store
The focus could have been housing or transport, but Claire decided to choose food as a theme to raise awareness and encourage people to take action. Because food concerns all of us...
« The people who decide to come here are interested in getting quality products at a reasonable price » Mika
In the grocery store, you can find everything produced in the area, from beer to herbal tea as well as flours and cheese. Non local products can also be found yet they have been carefully selected, like the chocolate, and are labelled as coming from long distribution channels. Fruits and vegetables are mainly sold by the box.
« For each product, there is a different operating cost. The farmer sets the price and we sell according to this set price »
Deliveries are always grouped together with other travels - which would have taken place no matter what - in order to limit the association's carbon footprint. This is done consistently, even if it means that some products will be unavailable for a while.
The grocery store guarantees
the association financial independence.
Besides attracting people living in the neighborhood, the grocery store guarantees the association financial independence.
Sales margins are limited in order to guarantee quality local and organic products at a reasonable price*. Together with the memberships (between 10 and 30 euros per year), they cover all the expenses and even generate a little surplus which will enable solidarity group loans or funding other projects.
« Thinking about those who are not mobile,
those who do not have money
and giving them the choice
to come or not, or to come for some time... »
In view of being available to all, including those who do not have much visibility of their budget, box orders are open from one week to another, without obligation of duration. The association however pays the farmers several months in advance to facilitate their cash flow.
« The solidarity boxes mean that people can also have access to healthy food without being labelled 'poor' » Mika
Realizing that some people did not buy fruit and veggie boxes at the end of the month or did not buy anything at all because of prices still being too high, the association gave the possibility to the members to buy boxes for 6 or 4 euros (limited to 7 boxes for each delivery). No justification is ever asked for this. The system relies on trust.
Box of organic fruits and vegetables.
Trust is one of the key words at ADDA. It is trust that undoubtedly contributes to the success of the project and the implication of the members.
Trust allows the members to calculate how much they owe by themselves and anyone can have access to the order books and receipts. It is also present in the way tasks are carried out by anyone volunteering.
This trust imposed itself little by little but the more it was present, the more it developed.
"As soon as we started sharing bookkeeping, there were no more errors, it was magic" Claire
The 'free of charge' is the name given to the food collected at the MIN, the national market of Nantes, second largest market in France.
Three times a week, two association members go there to collect the unsold products about to be thrown away. Each time, they bring back between 30 and 60 crates full of fruits and vegetables.
The organic products also collected are added to the boxes that are given out the very evening. What is not organic can be taken in self-service and the rest - usually what needs to be consumed or cooked immediately - is 'rehabilitated' in the afternoon.
'Rehabilitated' means the food is cooked with care and imagination by the ADDA volunteers present that day.
These products will then be available for sale in the grocery store. These are the 'ADDA products': jams, dried fruits, cooked vegetables, etc.
The members transform ADDA products
with 'dying' products and/or
coming from the free of charge channel.
« If you have a project and you want to put it into action and share it with others, it is possible » Mika
Many projects were initiated right from the beginning:
- "ADDA Fashion" enables to exchange, give and take clothes.
- A cupboard is available for storing little objects to give away, and people can leave paper ads for larger objects.
- There is a list that sums up the shared tools (from DIY tools to reception tableware or a 60-litre pressure cooker).
- Small conferences entitled 'What I have learnt about...' which offers to share your knowledge and learn information about topics others know about are held.
- There are regular workshops (cooking, fixing bikes...)
- There are also shared meals, several times a week, during which each participant brings food to share.
- ...And many more projects that the association members are preparing...
« The shared meals are delicious moments: we get to taste different flavors, links are made, people meet, projects get started » Claire
ADDA is also in contact with several groups and organisations in town. This is how, in partnership with the association of the Carterie neighborhood, ADDA has helped reclaim a wasteland. It has been transformed into a shared garden where members put their compost. Some of them have trained as beekeepers and set up beehives in it. And two chickens magically appeared there one night.
An important aspect of the association is that you feel at home. The place has been arranged and decorated collectively and anyone is free to rearrange it differently if one thinks it best. Above all, the members are the one in charge of all the tasks and activities, and with enthusiasm.
The clothes from the ADDA fashion
The chicken in the shared garden
List of objects to give out
Discussion in the kitchen
One of the fundamental choices of the association has been not to have any employee
This choice enables to offer quality products at a fair price as well as financial independence.
But it also arises many questions. What happens if no one takes care of the tasks required to the running of the association such as restocking, accounting and opening hours?
« It matters more to us to be independent than to continue to exist by depending on someone »
For a long time, Claire was in charge of most of the tasks. She was so involved people wondered if ADDA could live without her support...
Since few years now, she has been stepping back. She and the other members have agreed about it, and she now wishes to take more distance in order for ADDA to live its own life.
The organisation of the tasks to carry out has been made clearer and easily identifiable for every one to enroll in the different activities of the ADDA. And the soft shift has started. More and more tasks and activities are taken over by the members, which brings novelty.
And when a task has been left vacant, Claire makes sure she does not step in...
"ADDA is like my fifth child"
« Food is just an excuse and it leads to an experiment on anything »
Incidentally, a memorable event will soon take place. The current place, which until now had been generously lent, is up for sale.
The association needs to move out
All the different solutions have been considered: buying, renting, portable housing, squatting, splitting, or closing. A notebook 'If ADDA was to disappear...' has been set up for people to express what ADDA represents to them.
After we left, a solution was adopted: the association will join a dozen others in a city-owned space, only 500 meters away from the former place. A new life will structure itself within a newly-arranged home, with new possibilities and new challenges to take up with inspiration.
Find out more about ...
Association ADDA - Aujourd'hui restaurons demain
Address : Salle Marion Cahour / 18 rue de Savenay / 44000 Nantes
Website : addo.asso.fr
... the collective places of proximity
ADDA is what we could call a collective place of proximity: neither a public nor a private space, it is a place that members can claim in order to share, be creative and live a common experience.
Each collective place of proximity has its own way in, its independent ways, its own position. The approach is more or less dedicated to opening up and being independent. It will mostly depend on those who set it up and use it.
« I do not have any solution or miracle recipe to pass on, I just want to speak up and encourage people to be active members of community life. » Claire
Another example, the Coroutine
This coworking space located in Lille was initiated by a group of friends, all independent IT engineers, willing to share a common work space rather than work at home and by themselves. They rented out a common work space and opened it to whoever was interested in joining in.
Based on self-management, the Coroutine has grown gradually with the arrival of new members. Today they occupy a 150 m2 space next to the Lille town hall.
On the first floor, a kitchen, a bar and a meeting room host the numerous activities offered by the ever-growing number of members. Sometimes the new members join for other reasons and needs than the original service offered by the coworking space.
A local farmer brings in a delivery of vegetables ordered once a week. The members have managed to offer a common meal every lunch time (signing in is requested before 11 am) for 3 euros. Every summer, a place in the countryside is arranged in order to host workshops on self-building and the implementation of the FabLab skills - hosted at the Coroutine - in view of building a TinyHouse (an ecologically friendly cabin on wheels), etc...
Find out more about: lacoroutine.org
What about in your neighborhood?
Citizen-led actions are becoming more and more visible. They allow to bring energies together with the purpose of creating positive dynamics at a community level. Joining them enables you to get information about the local projects and collaborations near you.
Transition Network, enables people interested in taking part in the transition to get together and collaborate in order to act locally and according to their means of action.
Alternatiba is a festival that organizes for a few days the get-together of all the alternative initiatives taking place near you. Its organization is self-managed by the members of the various associations taking part in it. To find out if a festival is scheduled near you, go and check their website.
Do not hesitate to inform us of any amazing initiative that could be added to this list! Contact us!