French Signature brand lauded for responsible trading

De Buyer’s Faymont-Val d’Ajol-based factory was assessed by CSR body AFNOR.

Cookware and utensil manufacturer De Buyer has become the first and only French company in the culinary sector to receive certification body AFNOR’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) ‘Confirmed’ level commitment label.

The French brand, sold in the UK through Signature FSE, first contacted AFNOR a year ago in order to have its CSR level assessed. De Buyer believes that, this assessment has become a major asset for many French companies and a reference point for the ethical consumer, as well as demonstrating the desire to be transparent about social and environmental practices.

Claude Haumesser, CEO of De Buyer commented: “Our unique selling point is clearly the quality of our materials and a well thought out design. For us, it is also the respect for the person who manufactures the product and the way in which it is made.”

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De Buyer believes that this recognition emphasises its DNA of preserving artisanal traditions existing since 1830 whilst also being a visionary company. It is also said to validate company strategy regarding product quality and durability, an HR policy based on well-being at work, a €7.3m in the last 5 years to create permanent and modern premises, an international presence resulting in exports representing 50% of turnover, and a circular economy approach with the reintegration of recycled materials in the manufacturing process, installation of its own industrial water treatment plant as an environmental initiative.

AFNOR’s social responsibility senior consultant François Sibille commented: “If De Buyer is a company with strong, established values and operating principles, despite the change of management.

“Its integration in the region is clearly part of its roots. It has excellent relationships with local and regional bodies. De Buyer highly promotes the region, the profession and French expertise on an international level.

“The working environment is essential: workplace ergonomics, the health and safety of employees, no social divides, strong working relationships between employees and managers. The environment is also of great importance, as demonstrated by, for example, the creation of a closed water loop.”

De Buyer employs 160 people in the Vosges region, in Faymont-Val d’Ajol, and is claimed to be the only factory in the world to use sheet metal, aluminium, coated aluminium, stainless steel, multi-layer stainless steel, copper, carbon fibre and silicone to make products in the same facility.

In November 2017, De Buyer started the final phase to renovate and extend its site in order to respond to its growth and development in France and abroad. Phase one was the expansion and modernisation of the site while phase two was the acquisition of the French SME Marlux.

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