The government wants to convince companies to supply fabric masks to their employees rather than imported surgical masks, in the face of the “ overcapacity ” denounced by certain French industrialists who have been converted to the manufacture of masks.
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While around 450 French companies converted to the manufacture of masks during the health crisis, sometimes at the cost of additional investments, " there are 10% of companies who end up with stocks on their hands " today, said Secretary of State for Economy Agnès Pannier-Runacher on RTL on Monday.
A meeting takes place Monday afternoon with " the whole industry " to " prepare the future action plan ", she added.
The government wants to try to convince large companies to equip their employees with reusable masks " made in France ", while building up public stocks in fabric masks.
" We have a mission (...) whose objective is to convince large buyers to switch from the disposable mask to the reusable washable textile mask, and to explain that it is indeed personal protective equipment ", a she hammered.
A message that she specifically sent to La Poste, specifying that it was an " essential transition ".
" I had from May 15 alerted the industry on this risk of overproduction " faced with a potentially lower demand than expected, observed Agnès Pannier-Runacher.
" It's still incredible. We have a product which is ecological, which has an unbeatable price-quality ratio ", for more than a dozen uses compared to single-use masks," and nevertheless we cannot convert large companies to use this mask (fabric), we prefer the surgical mask which is imported from China, ”insisted the Secretary of State.
" This product has only been available for two months, so I can understand that the employers have not done all the work " to identify the approved products and " the union organizations may have been suspicious in certain places ", a she recognized.
Moreover, " the NS past has state commands to masks 100% French ", especially that " a cloth mask (...) keeps longer: it is rare to have mold on a T-shirt only on a single-use surgical mask , ”she said.
She reacted in particular to the setbacks of the Tissages company in Charlieu, which had early joined the " war effort " of mask production in France. " There is obviously a plethora of offers which means that orders literally collapse (...) We find ourselves in a complicated situation, we have invested a million euros to increase our capacity " and " this week we have a million masks in stock ”, unsold, deplored the director of the company, Eric Boël, also interviewed on RTL.
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While the government had encouraged the acceleration of the production of cloth masks in France to guarantee the country's supply as deconfinement approached, a " longer-term task entrusted to four professionals " has now been launched to " work on the installation of sustainable textiles in France, ”said Agnès Pannier-Runacher.