Fabric masks made in Marseille (illustration photo). - CHAMUSSY / SIPA

  • Supported by local authorities, the "Masks Coop" project aims to provide "Breton masks for Bretons".
  • About thirty jobs should be created by this cooperative society of collective interest in Grâces, near Guingamp.

We talked a lot about masks when France didn't have them. In Brittany, we always talk about it. Angry to learn that a major manufacturing plant had closed in 2018 in Plaintel (Côtes d'Armor), many residents, elected officials, investors, had ambitioned to go back to the industrial site to make masks. After two and a half months of work, the project is launched. Called “La coop des masques”, this cooperative society of collective interest (SCIC) will allow citizens to participate in the financial effort, with the support of communities such as the Brittany region and the Côtes d'Armor department.

The future factory will be installed in an existing building in the Grâces industrial zone, near Guingamp. “The period of fitting out the premises will last until October. On October 15, normally, we will be stalling the machines in the new factory, "said Guy Hascoët, former regional elected official and Secretary of State for Lionel Jospin, who was commissioned to carry out this project. The site is expected to employ around 30 people and produce around 30 million masks per year starting in November.

Very invested in this project, the Brittany region will be one of the customers of the future factory. But interprofessionals, structures such as Doctors of the World, the Federation of Biology Laboratories and many others aim to place an order with the Breton factory. “Our ambition is not to eat the national market. Our ambition is to be autonomous, to produce Breton masks for Bretons. There may be one or two cents more to pay per mask, but that is the price of independence, ”said regional president Loïg Chesnais-Girard.

No competition between projects

Asked about the possible competition with the Ploufragan factory project carried by the Lebanese-Swiss businessman Abdallah Chatila, the region president was reassuring. "Our project does not disqualify the other projects present on the territory". "I am convinced that the two projects are complementary and not at all opposed," added the president of the Côtes d'Armor department Alain Cadec.

If they welcome the massive investment of the businessman in Brittany, elected officials remain cautious about his future in the long term. "Our ambition is that the project is viable to offer long-term jobs," says Loïg Chesnais-Girard, before concluding with a warning. “We don't do business. We are a little tired of seeing arbitrations by large groups which decide on the basis of Excel tables ”. A message addressed to the American Honeywell, whom many accuse of having sunk the factory of masks in Plaintel, taking away the know-how and machines to relocate in Tunisia.


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