ESTIEM Vision Grenoble & Lyon – “Food Markets”

Dear readers,

The next Vision in the series ‘food from Soil to Shelf’ took place in Lyon and Grenoble. The topic of this seminar was ‘Food markets’, with as focus points local markets and labelisation.

On arrival day, we had a city tour in Grenoble and got to enjoy this lovely city that feels more like a village. We got to know each other and started the week of easy.

The first working day was Monday, where we had an interesting conference organised for all students in Grenoble and the ESTIEMers. The topics ranged from labelisation research, pooling strategies, all the way to the stimulation of local food markets. After that, we had a round-table, where we were allowed to ask all sorts of questions, mainly focused on the interaction between the very different field we had seen (the topics were provided by researchers, companies and government, so there were a lot of different perspectives).

The round table

Tuesday was the day in the theme of research. We got a lecture from an Italian researcher who is currently doing work on labelisation, with as big picture question: How do we feed the population in a sustainable way. It turns out that labelisation can actually be part of the solution! In the afternoon, we participated in a workshop about the research. In this way, we did not only learn a lot about the topic of labelisation and the effects it has on consumer decisions, but also about how research is being conducted.

The workshop

Wednesday started off with a very interesting lecture by the director of the ‘Min’ of Lyon. The Min facilitates the relationship between local agricultural supplier and supermarkets, this stimulates the local market. After this, we went hiking to the Bastille. This building is located on the mountain next to Grenoble, the walk there was very interesting. Of course, walking with ESTIEMers is always fun and I can guarantee that we sang a lot of songs on the way (climbing sunshine mountain). The part of the event in Grenoble was closed off with a laser gaming session in the evening. Even though my team didn’t do so well, we had a blast!

The view from the Bastille

On Thursday, we travelled from Grenoble to Lyon. After the train ride of a little over 1 hour, we arrived safely and started to enjoy the city. There was no academic part planned this day because Lyon is a huge city and we got the opportunity to really see it and enjoy a long city tour. Aside from the city tour, we also had a nice French crash course, where we learned some basics of the French language. For dinner we had a fête de crêpe (pancake party).

Another very educational day was waiting for us in the form of Friday. We started by playing a supply chain management game called the ‘beer game’. This game taught us about the bullwhip effect and all the causes and implications. Then we went to the Leclerc warehouse for a company visit. We had lectures about the company, its structure and many other topics. Then we went into the warehouse, were we received a tour with explanations about all the processes. The best part was that we could ask as many questions as we could think of, this way we were really able to learn everything that we wanted.

The beer game

Even though it was very cold, we went out to the park on Saturday to have a game session. During this session, we got enigmas (riddles) that led us to the next location, where we got the next enigma, kind of like in ‘The Da Vinci Code’. Again, my group didn’t do so well (I’m starting to wonder why), but we had loads of fun running around trying to solve the questions. After this, we had to warm up a bit during lunch at the university, after which we got a oenology (wine-tasting) lesson. In just a few hours we became experts in tasting fancy wines and matching them with the proper food. This was perfect since we had the gala dinner right after.

The gala dinner

During the evenings throughout the whole week we had some fun activities. We’ve seen bars, clubs, and lots of kebab places in both Grenoble and Lyon. We also had some other evening activities like the international night, where we got to taste each other’s local foods and drinks. At the end of the week, there was la fête de la lumières in Lyon. During this annual light festival, the whole city is lit up by several projects. Walking around the city will provide you views of beautiful lightshows, enormous discoballs, and much more; a very unique experience for all the participants.

La fête de la lumières

On Sunday it was time to leave. Sad about the departure, but incredibly satisfied with the week, I went home and took some time to recover from Vision Food Markets.

Sebastian Hummel, Eindhoven

You need Vision to see!