Article de Antonin Calderon, APRÈS, Geneva
Under the dual pressure of online multinationals and large-scale distribution, we have been witnessing the disappearance of small shops, sometimes century-old brands, as well as local craft activities for several decades. The products offered for consumption are often of lower quality, and they are imported from far away, aggravating the climate crisis. The management of the COVID-19 crisis has accentuated this process.
It is becoming necessary and urgent to offer the possibility of buying local, quality products online, produced under dignified social conditions, and which preserve the personal data of consumers.
The many platforms created in recent years already partly meet this demand for local and sustainable products, but they are usually very sector-specific (“fruit and vegetables” or “drinks” or “groceries”, etc.). They cannot compete with the large platforms that offer a very wide range of products and even services. And none of them really protect their customers’ personal data.
Taking advantage of the online Hackathon against the Codid-19 “Versus Virus” (April 2020), APRÈS and Monnaie Léman  have taken up this commercial, economic, ethical, ecological and social challenge by creating the SmartketPlace platform.
SmartketPlace is a generalist digital marketplace. The software is free and open source. It is generic and replicable, i.e. it is easy to adapt to local applications.
SmartketPlace has all the functions necessary for e-commerce: registration of individuals and companies , sale/purchase of goods and services (constitution of a “basket”; payment in different means of payment (including complementary local currency); and (iii) home delivery.
On this basis, and specifically for Geneva, GE Consomme Local was designed.
The application is based on a “meta-platform” designed to articulate local producers and delivery companies committed to sustainability, as well as all local sectoral platforms that are globally committed or offer ranges of products and services labelled according to sustainability criteria.
What is smart is to offer both a single site for consumers and decentralised management by producers, sectoral marketplaces and delivery companies themselves .
GE Consomme local is conceived as a communal, non-profit commercial structure of collective interest. Its ownership and governance are shared between the production, distribution and consumption actors who use it.
The Swiss Confederation has already granted a subsidy of 20,000 Swiss francs for the finalisation of the IT development. The last General Assembly of RIPESS-Europe decided to support SmartketPlace, with the aim of proposing to other cities or other living areas in Europe to engage in this transition process by adapting the software to their local reality, thus constituting, after Geneva, a pool of pilot experiences reinforcing each other.