France has just seen the launch of its first Scop grouping of worker co-ops – a model created under legislation on the social and solidarity economy in July 2014 to improve competitiveness.
TPC and Sefard Scops came together to form Calice, which was officially launched as a société coopérative et participative on 31 May.
Before the new law, Scops were not able to create co-operative groupings. To develop and grow externally, they had to make use of subsidiaries which were not Scops. The new provision allows them to develop, grow and become more competitive while letting workers participate in the governance of the enterprise.
Scop groupings increase the financing of the group through the introduction of employee share ownership. In addition, the Scops which are members of a grouping are required to harmonise their co-operative practices and introduce a high degree of synergy. The “parent” Scop holds 51% of the capital and the voting rights, while a share in the capital is set aside for the workers of the so-called “daughter” companies.
TPC, a Scop which provides contract packaging services to the food, cosmetics and parapharmaceuticals market, has used the Scop grouping provision to deliver an external expansion operation. With the support of the Scop network, it acquired Sefard, a metal working and engineering company with a turnover of €5m and 50 employees. TCP’s co-operative experience, plus the financial support provided to Sefard made it possible to successfully transition Sefard into a Scop. Now the Calice Scop grouping has 231 employees, including 213 worker members.
The name Calice was taken from the botanical term which refers to the calyx tube of a flower, which is a ring-like protective structure which allows each of the petals to open and flourish.