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  • 2008/04/28
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Paris, 25 April 2008

For the past two years, Crédit Agricole has provided support for Max Havelaar, and in the process has become one of the biggest consumers of fair-trade food products in France. All vending machines at Crédit Agricole's head office and at most of its subsidiaries offer fair-trade products, not only coffee and chocolate, but also cookies and fruit juice. In 2007, 8,800 kg of coffee and 2,900 kg of chocolate were distributed through these machines. For nearly the past three years, Group restaurants have also offered fair-trade coffee, with consumption totalling 1,800 kg last year. Altogether, the Crédit Agricole Group consumed 10.6 tonnes of fair-trade coffee in 2007.

Crédit Agricole can identify with Max Havelaar's initiative, given its own origins as a cooperative and mutual institution. In the 19th century, when the first local and regional banks were established by the pioneers of Crédit Agricole, these economic initiatives were designed to ease the financing constraints of small-scale farmers. Satisfactory financing solutions were found to help fund their development. The same values underpin the concept behind Max Havelaar's actions: solidarity, proximity and confidence.

Like Max Havelaar, Crédit Agricole is committed to supporting farmers in the developing countries of the southern hemisphere. For both Crédit Agricole and Max Havelaar, helping small producers achieve financial independence is one of the most effective means of fostering development in emerging countries and combating poverty worldwide. On the strength of this conviction, Crédit Agricole launched last January the Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation in partnership with the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus. The Foundation aims to support microfinance institutions, which grant microcredits to enterprising individuals in developing countries.

Several photos by Max Havelaar depicting fair trade are on display in the Regional Banks and in Group subsidiaries in order to encourage all our employees to use fair-trade products.

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