Redundant workers turn to crowd-funding to save French biscuit brand

Staff at closed Jeannette de Caen factory – open for 164 years – have raised £46,700 ahead of tribunal hearing

At the biscuit and cake-makers Jeannette de Caen, redundant workers are determined their famous madeleines should be more than just a Proustian memory.photo_906

In liquidation since December when production halted, and faced with permanent closure, a crowd-funding appeal was launched for donations to save the 164-year-old Normandy company.

The target was to raise €50,000 (£39,600) before a final court hearing to decide the fate of the factory, which has been occupied by laid-off workers since its closure.

On Sunday/Yesterday, the deadline for contributions, the 25 workers were celebrating after collecting nearly £48,000. Now the organisers say they are extending the funding campaign until November 13 when Caen’s commercial tribunal will decide on the fate of the factory, in order to capitalise on the wave of public support.

“Each additional contribution gives more weight to our side of the legal battle,” their company’s crowd-funding website announced. While the Biscuiterie Jeannette needs an estimated £795,000 to restart production, staff are hoping their success will persuade the banks to lend more money.In August, four offers for the company, none of which proposed restarting production in Normandy, were thrown out by a judge. The November hearing will consider applications from a total of seven interested parties, including businessman Georges Viana, who is behind the crowd-funding initiative and has the workers’ support after pledging to reopen the factory.

Madeleines like these are among Biscuiterie Jeannette's most-famous product lines.Read more at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/19/france-redundant-workers-turn-crowd-funding-to-save-biscuit-brand

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