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French wine cooperative to offer employees shares

Published:  27 April, 2015

A French cooperative, Plaimont Producteurs is set to open up its business to allow employees to become shareholders, which it claims is a first for a wine cooperative.

The supplier, which is based in South West of France on the borders of Gascony and Béarn, produces wines in AOC Saint Mont, Madiran and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh, and Côtes de Gascogne.

The company says the initiative, which goes live next month, will enable around 180 permanent employees to subscribe to shares in the company and was made possible by an increase in turnover and net profit in the last financial year. It claimed this was the result of greater engagement of its teams and the involvement of its winemakers in its commercial strategy.

"In a cooperative industry which is sometimes criticised for being complicated and passive, this is an innovative and forward-thinking move," it said. It added that the move would not only help its employeed engagement but would help it attract and retain new talent.

Managing director Olivier Bourdet-Pees, said: "We are aiming to bring together the three families that make up Plaimont Producteurs - the company, the winemakers and the employees - to achieve the optimum balance between commitment and financial interest."

The company, which has around 5,000 ha in production, sells more than forty million bottles per year, with exports accounting for around 55%.