Carola and Wattwiller re-certified as PME+

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For a more engaged world

Popular with consumers and retailers alike, the PME+ label is one of the most recognisable certifications in France today. A petite et moyenne enterprise (PME), or SME in English, is a local organisation with less than 500 employees. Spadel’s French business unit with its brands Carola and Wattwiller fit into this category perfectly.

So what does the “+” stand for? Created in 2014 by the Fédération des Entreprises et Entrepreneurs de France (which acts as a growth accelerator for SME suppliers to the food and non-food retail sectors), the PME+ label recognises a company’s engagement to Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR.

Photographer: Jean-Francois Badias

CSR Strategy

Julian Schmitt, Marketing Manager France, has been with the Spadel Group for fifteen years, and as such, has been closely involved with this certification from the very beginning. Obtaining both the PME+ and B Corp certifications has been hugely important to both Carola and Wattwiller as they are important selling points says Julian.

Large retailers such as the Carrefour Group make it a priority to work with smaller, local organisations as part of their CSR strategy. The PME+ certification is a great way of creating awareness around the fact that Carola and Wattwiller are local brands competing against industry greats such as Nestlé. Consumers too prefer buying from local companies.

Based on ISO 26000, PME+ covers six themes, ranging from Governance and Ethics to Environmental Management and Preservation. The PME+ audit is stringent and is conducted every two years. Unsurprisingly, Carola and Wattwiller are proud to achieve an overall score of 95%.

In particular, the brands are applauded for their Employment Footprint, achieving 100%. With social dialogue at the heart of human relations and a focus on developing human capital, the company does exceptionally well for employee involvement and satisfaction.

Similarly, both Carola and Wattwiller shine when it comes to anticipating and taking customer expectations into account (100%) thanks to their focus on sustainable packaging solutions and strict quality controls.

In terms of remarkable action, Carola Wattwiller has undertaken important work concerning the preservation of impluviums in partnership with the municipality.

As the auditor concludes: Carola and Wattwiller demonstrate a significant level of maturity on the CSR themes of the PME+ framework. Supported by the Spadel Group, the CSR policy of the two companies is truly co-constructed with the teams. Processes are defined within a fully integrated management system and are driven by quadruple certification.

The mindset of the management team remains one of the keys to the success of the remarkable practices and performances observed during this 2023 audit. The strength of Carola-Wattwiller is characterized by the agility and the responsiveness of an SME coupled with group support.

Act Local, Act Together

Spadel was an early adopter of the PME+ label, first becoming accredited in 2015, as it aligned with the Group’s ambition to formalise its CSR initiatives both on a national and group level. Acting locally and together are two of the four key drivers behind Spadel’s CSR strategy.

“Connecting with our stakeholders is hugely important to us and recognition by the FEEF helps make that happen,” adds Julian. “To be a leader in sustainability means you have to build a sustainable business model on all fronts, and that includes people and partnerships as well as the environment.”

“We’re proud to support over 200 local initiatives in the East of France. As well as supporting various sports associations – both professional and small clubs – we also support local food banks and poverty alleviation initiatives such as those by Secours Populaire. And of course, with a strong link to the HoReCa industry, we support cultural activities too; all the things that allow us to be a part of the day and the journey of local people.”

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