Social Innovation is a concept of social development hailed as a means to provide scalable solutions to social, economic and environmental issues. The SIMRA (Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas) project, funded by Horizon 2020, has explored and supported many social innovation cases. One such case took place in Lebanon, supported through the engagement of the Social Economic and Environment Development Services (SEEDS-Int).
Throughout the SIMRA project over the past four years, SEEDS-Int has identified and investigated the interesting case of a women-based cooperative, located in Deir el Ahmar, and striving to secure sustainable marketing initiatives. The Jana Al Ayadi Cooperative is specialized in producing natural, authentic Lebanese food known as “Mouneh,” an umbrella term for preserved foods like jams, pickles, and dried produce. Mouneh is about transforming the excess of an agriculture harvest into long-lasting products using international standards of quality and hygiene, while maintaining the authentic taste of traditional recipes. As such, cooking becomes a source of economic return rather than a daily burden.
With time, the efforts and the competition have increased the risks of these producers, pushing them to search for alternative marketing solutions able to boost their production, and thus their income.
When need to secure stable income challenged the women of Jana Al Ayadi, SEEDS-Int stepped up to support them in the design of an online marketplace for selling and promoting their products.
The website ishoprural.com has been established by SEEDS-Int as an innovative e-commerce marketplace to support the sales of the small-scale producers – whether organizations, cooperatives, or single producers. ishoprural.com gives fair space and an opportunity for small-scale producers to get in contact with the consumers and gain visibility; and most importantly, to overcome the effect of intermediaries. New consumers, new customers and new markets accessed through ishoprural.com support healthy, fresh, clean, and rural authentic naturally processed food and mostly from unprivileged groups.
ishoprural.com, presents a unique experience for browsing products and producers, while also having the opportunity to hear directly from the producers from Lebanon as they tell the stories of their products and businesses. The products themselves are a fine selection of 100% natural goods that are prepared from the finest fruits and vegetables, cereals and herbs, all of which are locally produced. The products available on the website are excellent in the taste, the recipe and the authenticity they present, while also demonstrating an inspiring case of women finding ways to improve on the economic situation of their families and their well-being.
ishoprural.com provides a valuable service to both producers and customers: it provides a marketplace for buying authentic produce, and to live the story of every producer, better understanding the journey it takes for these products to become yours.
If you are looking for a marketplace with social value, you are one click away! ishoprural.com is the address to remember for easy access to rural and authentic products.