Threatened by competition from Asia, the company urgently seeks to rebuild its cash flow by selling off its stocks.
The “Coop des masques”, born at the end of 2020 in the Côtes-d’Armor on the ashes of the last French mask factory, is threatened with bankruptcy due in particular to Asian competition, the chairman of the board of directors warned on Monday. administration Guy Hascoët.
The factory in Grâces, near Guingamp, employs 23 people and produces 75,000 surgical masks and 60,000 FFP2 masks per day. Due to a lack of sufficient orders, it launched a destocking operation on Thursday to urgently rebuild its cash flow, with prices ranging from -30% to -50%.
“The objective is to sell a stock of some 6 million masks, worth one million euros. We need everything, both large national accounts and also all the small ones, municipalities that are taking a hit, health professionals. Five hundred boxes, that’s a million masks ”, emphasizes to AFP Guy Hascoët, former Secretary of State for the Solidarity Economy and pilot of the project.
97% of masks come from Asia
“Today, in France, everyone has problems and the factories are operating at a very low rate. In the first half of the year, 97% of French mask purchases went to Asia. There is a relocation discourse but lots of actors have resumed their ways of before, by going to seek the low price on the other side of the world ”, he adds. The price difference between a mask made in France and in Asia is of the order of “4 euro cents”.
The SCIC (cooperative society of collective interest) project started in March 2020 at the initiative of a small group of former employees of the Spérian factory in Plaintel (Côtes-d’Armor), about thirty kilometers away. , closed in general indifference by the American group Honeywell in 2018.
According to Guy Hascoët, some actors who had promised to buy masks from the cooperative “ultimately did not commit”, while others overstocked masks for fear of not finding them and therefore have no need. immediate.
“It’s a vital race, we have to quickly get 2 million masks out of stock. We contacted all the Breton municipalities, all the companies. We are not a special case, because three companies in other regions have filed for bankruptcy ”, emphasizes Guy Hascoët.
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