“caring for life”: groupe grimaud becomes an “entreprise a mission”
With the support of its employees and shareholders, Groupe Grimaud, a leader in animal genetic selection, vaccines and innovative proteins, has just amended its articles of association as an “entreprise a mission” to include social and environmental commitments.
Since the implementation of a law in 2019 (la “loi Pacte”), a French company can modify its articles of association to give itself a “raison d’être” through several social and environmental objectives in addition to its initial profit-making purpose. This has now been done and is a new step for the group based in France, whose activities are spread all over the world with 2,100 employees and a turnover of €490 million.
For more than a year, the employees and shareholders of Groupe Grimaud had been asked to think about the opportunity to become an “entreprise a mission”, under the impetus of their president, Frédéric Grimaud. Various co-construction workshops, idea boxes and participatory meetings were organised throughout the year so that the mission, its framework and its objectives could be constructed by the teams.
The mission? « Caring for life », which is defined in 5 pillars:
Caring for our company and its customers: sustainability through economic performance and customer satisfaction
Caring for Human: science dedicated to health
Caring for our teams: the development of each individual in their professional activity
Caring for animals: animal welfare at the heart of the company’s project
Caring for the planet: continuous improvement of the footprint of our businesses
For each of these pillars, objectives are set with performance indicators. These include: no annual salary below 110% of the minimum wage, the definition of a minimum threshold of the company’s profits to be paid out to employees, action plans to promote animal welfare, the active fight against antibiotic resistance, the preservation of arable land and a constant reduction in the carbon footprint of activities.
The achievement of these objectives will be evaluated in an annual report issued by a Mission Committee, under the biennial verification of an independent third party, transmitted to the shareholders and communicated on the Groupe Grimaud website. The Mission Committee has no executive members of the group and is led by an independent chairman from outside the company, Patrick Néaume, who benefits from a strong experience at the head of numerous agri-food companies (notably Bonduelle, Terres du Sud and Euralis).
Frédéric Grimaud says, “Having a mission in our statutes is a logical extension of our history and business model. In reality, it does not radically change our way of seeing things and operating, since we have been acting on its five pillars for many years. Now we are setting a framework for our action and engraving our commitments in stone. He moderates: “However, we must not be mistaken. To be able to keep these commitments, we must give ourselves the means to do so, and this means ensuring the sustainability of our company, our jobs and therefore our economic health. Without this, our social and environmental commitments become simply impossible to meet”.
At the end of 2021, only 250 French companies were declared to be an “entreprise à mission”. Driven by its employees, shareholders and managers, Groupe Grimaud is part of a fundamental movement that seeks to create a dynamic of continuous progress around social and environmental issues.