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Every year, the selection committee of the GFSI Global Markets Awards, kindly sponsored by greenfence, reserves one of its four annual prizes for a small to medium-sized company located in the host country of the GFSI Conference. In 2019, that recognition went to a remarkable bakeshop: Pâtisserie Baillon, a manufacturer of cheesecakes and regional specialties that is bringing a bit of sweetness to a disadvantaged corner of France.

This week on the GFSI Experts Series, we chat with Bruno Herbout, President of Pâtisserie Baillon, who hopes to leverage the company to revitalise the economy of his hometown of Brioux-sur-Boutonne. The GFSI-recognised certification that his company achieved through the Global Markets Programme helped his employees, many of whom were formerly homeless, gain a sense of pride in their ability to produce safe food. Watch his interview with GFSI’s Mia Masson on GFSI Youtube or read the transcript below.

Mia: Congratulations, Bruno! How did it feel to win a GFSI Global Markets Award?

Bruno: Very proud for my team, because it’s a certificate for my team. Plenty of my people were in the street before becoming employees, and it’s very important for them.

Mia: Could you tell me about yourself and about your company?

Bruno: Myself, it’s not important. My company is 23 employees in the southwest of France, and we are making cheesecake pastries and regional products

Mia: How do the award and the Global Markets Programme impact your company?

Bruno: If I am here, it’s because of the Global Markets Programme. If I did not certify, my company would not exist, because my retail customers want [me to be certified]. And I chose the GFSI Global Markets Programme.

Mia: What are the benefits of the Global Markets Programme?

Bruno: The benefits of Global Markets Programme are to build the team and also to be recognised by the outside. The bankers accept our money because we are now certified. The things we say are true now, because we are certified. It’s not just people [talking].

Mia: What challenges or obstacles did you face before you won the award?

Steve: At first, to find money to invest in the arrangement of the factory, and after that to find people who see what is necessary to do to advance. And it was a real challenge to obtain that: to find people and to find money.

Both of those are really testing pieces of work, because the state of knowledge is incomplete. We need to understand how much science there is that we can use and how much practical guidance we can give. I really hope that we can move forward and make some real progress in this coming year, because time is short and we all know that there’s a global objective of the United Nations and of FAO, WHO and OIE. We need to do something that’s really effective within Codex.

Mia: What message would you give to the future Global Markets Awards applicants?

Bruno: A message for all the little companies like mine: you can arrive. It’s possible. I do it, and I am not exceptional. So we can arrive with this Global Markets Programme in three steps. One the first time, then the second time, and the third we are certified. And every little company can do that.

Mia: Would you recommend the Global Markets Programme?

Bruno: Yes, sure. I recommend it very strongly. If you see somebody who has doubts, send me and I will explain.

To learn more about the Global Markets Awards, watch our previous episode with fellow winner Veronica Kalu-Ufe from Nigeria’s Golden Sugar Company, and keep an eye out for our upcoming episode with the 2019 awardee from the Latin American region. Follow #GFSIexperts on TwitterFacebook or LinkedIn and subscribe to GFSI News to make sure you do not miss an episode!

Does your company or someone in your supply chain has what it takes to be a Global Markets Awards Winner in 2020? Applications are open now! Read the criteria and send in your application by 16th September 2019.

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