The Guaranteed French Origin label (OFG) is a relatively recent innovation as it was presented to the National Assembly in 2011. The aim of this certification is to give consumers clear information on the geographical origin of a product, and in addition to allow French businesses which sign up for the label to add value to their manufacturing.
What does the OFG label certify and what are the criteria ?
The two criteria of the Guaranteed French Origin Label are independent of the idea of the origin of merchandise or raw materials, which is how customs duty is calculated. To be certified :
- The product must take on its essential characteristics in France. This means that the majority of the product’s manufacturing process must happen on French soil.
- at least 50% of the real cost per unit, this being the product’s price when it leaves the factory, is acquired in France.
LAFUMA Mobilier, a unique brand in the world of outdoor furniture, has all of its workshops at two French production sites : The historic Anneyron (Drôme) site and the Lallemand subsidiary in the Ain department.
- The tubing workshop (aluminium and steel),
- Paint (crucial stage for combining quality and style) Stitching (we are proud of having managed to keep the stitching line in the area !),
- Assembly (« combining » the tubing and the fabric)
For Arnaud Du Mesnil, the managing director, « we wanted to be awarded this independent, challenging certification, as it helps to better inform our customers, by guaranteeing the French origin of our products. It is also an important tool to help distinguish us from the competition, which is mainly from imported goods, and to encourage our distributors and help us to develop overseas. »
Products which are made in France, and OFG certified have a combination of advantages : « Having the OFG label reassures those of our clients who particularly value French manufacturing, continues Arnaud Du Mesnil. Additionally, it allows us to accentuate our savoir-faire and support French manufacturing. This label is an indicator of the business’s identity, which is a source of pride for the employees. »
How is the Guaranteed French Origin Label awarded ?
The business applying for the label must follow specifications, set out by the Association Pro France, which is responsible for promoting the French brand. The company submits a file which is examined by a certifying body (Afnor Certification, the Veritas certification office etc.) which confirms if it meets the specifications. The business requesting the label then receives an initial certification. Next the independent certifying body schedules audits in the following 6 months. This site visit will finalise how quality and traceability is monitored. When given the go ahead, the company receives confirmation that its products are certified, valid for three years.
What are the differences between the made in France and Guaranteed French Origin Labels ?
There are many French designations and labels, but they are not all as challenging as the OFG label. The « Made in France » or « Manufactured in France labelling » lets us establish the « nationality » of a product, which conforms to Customs code. Yet a product may take as its country of origin, the one in which it had its last transformation.
The « Made in France » certification may therefore be used by a factory, as soon as its product undergoes its final transformation in France. The Made in France label is not therefore a selective, or transparent label and is not necessarily a measurement of quality.