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Rexel France signed a charter for responsible purshasing

The 28th of June, twenty-eight new signatories – major companies and large public operators – have added their names to the initial signatories of the Charter for Good Practices between purchasing decision-makers and SMEs to improve relations between customers and suppliers. The signing ceremony, which took place on Monday 28 June 2010, was attended by Christine Lagarde, French Minister of the Economy, Finance and Employment; Jean-Claude Volot, mediator for subcontracting and industrial inter-company relations; and Gérard Rameix, corporate credit mediator.

The signatories are: Air Liquide, Alcatel, Alstom, AREVA, BNP Paribas, CEA, Ernst & Young, Faivelay Transports, France Telecom, Fromagerie BEL, Lafarge, La Poste, 3M, Nexter, Rexel, RFF, RTE, Schneider Electric, Silec Cables, SNR Roulement, Société Générale, CDC, Service des Achats de l’Etat (government purchasing office) and UGAP. Moreover, the employers associations MEDEF, CGPME, APCM and UPA also agreed to this approach and signed the charter.

The good practices charter for improving relations between SMEs and their major customers was developed by the French corporate credit mediation office and CDAF (the French managers’ and purchasers’ association). The charter was first signed on 11 February by credit mediator Gérard Rameix and 21 large French companies, including EADS, Danone, L’Oréal, Véolia, Rhodia, Sodexo, EDF, SNCF and Total, at a ceremony attended by Christine Lagarde.

The charter comprises 10 commitments to responsible purchasing, with the aim of forging a true partnership between the major purchasing decision-makers and their SME suppliers based on full knowledge of, and respect for, each party’s rights and responsibilities. In addition to these commitments, the charter calls for each signatory company to develop indicators to track the charter’s implementation and for each large signatory company to designate an SME representative to act as a sort of internal mediator in the event of conflicts or disputes.

With a membership of around 45 companies representing some of France’s major purchasers, the charter has now become a major benchmark for good practices. Employers’ associations have also signed on: MEDEF, CGPME, Chambres de Métiers et de l’Artisanat and UPA. The volume of purchases made by signatory companies totals approximately €200 billion, or 25%-30% of all purchases made by large French companies, accounting for nearly 30% of inter-company credit.

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