Organic grocery Färm: local products and a local music player

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You’re most likely to find Färm in Brussels. It’s a cooperative of supermarkets with a preference for organic, local and ethical suppliers. Even when it comes to the music played in the stores. That is how, years ago, Färm and Tunify got to know each other …

Färm may be a new cooperative, but it’s experiencing steady growth. Today, the chain runs 5 stores itself, 4 franchise branches have opened their doors and there are a few new locations in the pipeline. Färm has a clear ambition: it wants to be a one-stop shop for organic products. Go there for everything you need, from organic bananas to sustainable toilet paper.

Färm is fulfilling this ambition through an innovative organisation model. It is a cooperative, meaning that you’re invited to be both a customer and a part-owner. More than 500 people support the cooperative in this way. It’s not an obligation though; everyone is welcome to shop at Färm.

A preference for local suppliers

Juliette Hannick has been an administrative assistant at Färm for 4 years. She explains the different ways the organisation stands out: ‘We have more criteria than just being ‘organic’. Economic and social themes are also very important. We don’t sell any products from market-listed companies. We work exclusively and directly with producers and small cooperatives, the preference being that they’re as geographically close by as possible.’

This approach is part of the reason for the match with Tunify. Juliette: ‘When we went looking for a music service that also took authors’ rights into account, we discovered Tunify. It was nice to see that it’s a Belgian company. We hadn’t expected to find a supplier, here in Belgium, that would offer us the same possibilities as large music platforms like Spotify or Deezer.’

Singing customers

In Färm’s own stores, you’ll only hear Tunify music. ‘Although one of the franchises chose Tunify too,’ says Juliette. ‘We turn the music player on as soon as the first of us arrives for work in the morning. We then crank the volume and dive into our tasks, surrounded by good vibes.’

‘As soon as the doors open, we turn the sound down a little and play music with a lot of variation,’ explains Juliette. ‘The kind of music you hear depends on which team is working at the time. We give them free reign, and that works. I have the impression that my colleagues and the customers have a relatively similar taste in music. Maybe because, as a cooperative, we are all one big family? In any case, walking up and down the aisles, I’ve heard various clients singing along.’ (Laughs)

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"Walking up and down the aisles, I’ve heard various clients singing along." 

Juliette Hannick, administrative assistant - Färm

Impeccable administration and service 

Juliette usually works behind the scenes. She doesn’t choose the music in the stores herself, but is trusted with the administrative side of the story. ‘I order the Tunify subscriptions for our 5 stores online, make the payment and handle the invoices. That all runs super-smoothly.’

‘The same applies for the telephone contact,’ continues Juliette. ‘I basically get someone on the line straightaway. And that’s a different story with some other suppliers. Plus, I was able to combine my 5 subscriptions into 1 account, which makes the administration so much easier. You don’t see these sorts of things in the store, but they do save you a lot of time. A lot of small businesses don’t all have a huge administrative force. This kind of convenience is even more valuable to them.’

Would you like to know more about the approach, the stores or the cooperative shares for Färm? Täke a look ät their website!

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