For several years, Charleroi Métropole has been developing an extensive range of alternative food systems through the initiatives of residents, cooperatives, institutions... which promote locally-sourced and organic products.
Finding a producer in the region
There are a number of local producers in the region: fruit and vegetables, meat and cured meats, cheeses, cream and milk, aromatic herbs and flowers, beer, wine and liqueur. There are several websites providing information about these products: the producers of Hainaut, organic producers, the local CLIC [Local Information Committee] and farm shops.
Charleroi Métropole's food belt
Charleroi Métropole’s food belt is currently developing projects that will offer local seasonal and high-quality food throughout the region! It is supporting the growth of companies which have already chosen to go organic (label) and those who are committed to becoming organic (meaning starting their conversion period within two years). Its objectives are: access for all to organic food produced locally at fair prices, the relocalisation of food, the development of a city-countryside alliance, reinvigorating the local economy and the development of sustainable farming.
Products recognised around the world
The Chimay beers and cheeses, recognised throughout the world, are a great source of pride for Charleroi Métropole. Chimay beers are authentic Trappist beers! But the region is teeming with other high-quality artisanal products, including hundreds of other locally-produced beers. There is also the escavèche, a typical fish dish from the south of the region, the eau-de-vie from the Distillerie de Biercée or even the famous gayettes (pralines in the form of coal/fire debris). Not forgetting the specialities served at ‘Robert la Frite’, a real Charleroi institution, and a number of great restaurants!
Food cooperatives made up of citizens
Several citizens’ cooperatives have emerged in Charleroi Métropole. In particular: Coopeco in Charleroi, Coopesem in Florennes, les Producteurs de la botte paysanne in Sivry.
The Charleroi Métropole markets
Different markets (morning, evening, specialist…) are organised in the 29 boroughs. To find out the day, contact your borough. Several markets dedicated to organic products have also been hugely successful. In particular: Charleroi, Solre-St-Géry, Montigny-le-Tilleul, Virelles, Florennes, Étangs de Fontenelle. Receive more information from your borough or at www.marches-de-belgique.be/.