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Not a Crumb Is Wasted!

Pays de la Loire - Rezé
Access to employment

The Bara’mel integration workshop recycles unsold bread from the Nantes conurbation. Aurélie is happy to ‘give [her] time to people working for others.’ Her co-sponsor, Anne-Laure, appreciates the ‘value of being part of a duo and the opportunity to work together outside of the office.’



‘In the Breton language, “bara” means bread and “mel” is for mixture or blending,’ explains Irène Petitteau, director of the Bara’mel bread recycling workshop in Sautron, near Nantes. This professional integration workshop has 34 employees remote from the so-called "classic" labor market. ‘This contract is a springboard,’ insists the director. Unsold bread collected from 200 points of sale is sorted, cut, dried, crushed and packaged as grounds for use in the production of animal feed. Repetitive tasks, but ‘we are not paid based on output,’ says an employee. ‘Everyone works at their own pace.’ In this way, Bara’mel helps cut down on 900 tons of waste per year.

Aurélie has worked for VINCI for ten years. She ‘wanted to get involved in social issues,’ but had not found the time. ‘In the end, it was my professional life that allowed me to get involved. I’m happy I can use my skills for an association that helps people re-enter society.’ The Trajet association, which oversees the workshop, received €18,000 from the Fondation VINCI pour la Cité, which allowed it to buy an automatic washer, a forklift, and new baskets. ‘This investment has two purposes: improve working conditions and develop employees’ skills—forklift driving for example,’ says Irène Petitteau. But the workshop has above all benefitted from the involvement of its two sponsors. Anne-Laure also wanted to donate her time: ‘even if I don’t have much [time], the human interest is undeniable. Sometimes I stop by the workshop just to talk with the employees—it is enriching to hear their experiences and build relationships with them.’

Aurélie, for her part, attends the bimonthly workplace safety meetings. ‘I’ve worked with the managers on subjects such as workstation analysis. I provided added value tailor-made to my skills. I also respond to their requests. We are currently working on a welcome booklet.’ In another area, Anne Laure got her interns involved by inviting them to spend a morning sorting bread alongside the association’s employees, while a law student helped a refugee resolve an issue with the Prefecture: ‘It’s an opportunity to show what I can bring to the VINCI Group.’ The young legal officer, who has a passion for Morocco, also exchanged Arab lessons for French lessons with an employee, who was a professor in his country. ‘The human relationships created as part of the sponsorship are extremely fulfilling.’

Aurélie for her part shares the reality of Trajet’s managers: ‘They share their difficulties, the need to keep living one’s life without drowning in the worries of others. We have a real relationship, which we built little by little, by communicating between our two worlds.’


February 2016 © Reporters d'Espoirs news agency

Reporters d'Espoirs news agency

VINCI Foundation works with Reporters d'Espoirs, a French news agency, to highlight and share the innovative social initiatives that it supports. The arrangement includes the writing of articles and exchange on topics that lead to solutions. Thus presented, the initiatives, validated using the criteria of the editorial charter of Reporters d'Espoirs, are intended to demonstrate their development and results.