Empowering consumers through crowdsourcing

The problem

During the “milk crisis” in France in 2016, French consumers discovered that dairy farmers were not making a decent living. A group of consumers therefore took the initiative to create “C’est qui le patron?!” (Who is the boss?) brand with the aim of supporting French producers, the environment, animal welfare good practices, health, the development of the agri-food sector. This is achieved by letting the consumers design their products through a crowdsourcing platform, voting against a variety of characteristics, deciding how much they will pay to retailer and the producer.

“C’est qui le Patron ?!” is the most successful model of the last 30 years in France, thanks to which more than 4,000 producer and farmer families survive, supported by 14 million consumers. France now has more than 30 products in stores, offering significant breaths into the agri-food sector and the French economy, as well as positive developments in the environment, all thanks to active consumers involvement. There is a need for technological improvements and for supporting its replication to four (4) countries.

The solution

The solution to the problem will be addressed with a mixture of technological, social and entrepreneurial  innovations! 

Firstly, CQLP and PETA will create an online questionnaire for ten (10) products, allowing anyone to choose the product characteristics (type of farming, product packaging, remuneration of the farmer, type of processing). The possibilities proposed will be detailed to provide the consumer with the best possible information. Each choice will correspond to a production cost that is reflected in the final price of the product. In this way, consumers can make an enlightened choice, seeing directly the consequences of their consumption. A web app and a mobile app will allow the consumers to 1) vote through their mobiles for shaping the products, 2) see where they can buy the products nearby and 3) scan the QR code in the product to get information about its specifications and related sustainable practices. In addition, designing processes for enhancing the collaboration and communication between all the actors of the value chain, from farm to fork, in the context of creating the new “CQLP ingredient products” will be deployed. Enhancing the current controls will make sure that a product has actually been manufactured in accordance with what the consumer decided, by tapping into a Smart Farming solution that will be providing data as proof for applied sustainable practices.

The lessons learnt from implementing the above in France and Greece, will be transferred to the respective initiatives established in three (3) other EU countries (UK, Germany, Belgium), helping local consumers to create their own products.

The Innovations 

Technological: Crowdsourcing technologies and applications give power to the consumers and the connected traceability solutions bring information from farm to fork. The connection to data from Smart Farming and farm logs will help feed the control process, increasing trust.

Social: This is a purely social innovative driven by their consumers and their need to take control back and ensure financial, social and environmental sustainability.

Organisational/Entrepreneurial: The involved companies have an innovative business model that focuses on sustainability, while being considered as the most successful model of the last 30 years in France. ific standards and protocols posed by the market and by policy makers like the Region of Central Macedonia. Proodos is also taking advantage of the technology solution to cover the new requirements of the future CAP and secure subsidies.


Economic: Producers, but also all other supply chain links, get a fair price for their products and services. Input reduction using SF leads to production costs reduction, while producing a higher quality product due to less chemicals used.

Social:  More income for the local farmers and food industry means more money for the whole community. In addition, less chemicals being used means less health issues.

Environmental: By paying for environmental sustainable practices, the consumers ensure that the environment is being protected.

The partners