Interview with Lydie TOLLEMER – Lawyer Department of Consumer Affairs National Federation FAMILLES DE FRANCE

Interview with Lydie TOLLEMER – Lawyer Department of Consumer Affairs National Federation FAMILLES DE FRANCE

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  1. Could you tell us about your role and the activities of Familles de France in a few words?

Since 1st August 2018, I have been the new lawyer in charge of the Department of Consumer Affairs of the National Federation Familles de France.

I have multiple missions to complete, such as providing legal information to consumers or the other national associations of our network, writing legal articles to popularise law, representing the association Familles de France towards public and private authorities and bodies in order to make the voice of consumers heard, resolving ongoing disputes after they have been referred by consumers, providing legal training courses to our volunteers, participating in working groups to advance law on specific legal issues or sitting on permanent commission to foresee future legal issues.

  1. Could you describe the great fights of Familles of France?

First of all, the National Federation Familles de France is accredited as:

– a National Consumer Organisation, (French Order of 12 September 1975, renewed by a decree published in the Official Journal on the 24th of September 2015),

– a National Community Education Association, (French Order of 15 July 1982),

– a National Association as a Registered Training Organisation, (Issued on the 19th of July 1991),

– an Association representing users in hospital or public health services (Issued on the 30th of November 2016 for 5 years – published in the Official Journal on the 7th of December 2016).

With these approvals, especially with the first order, Familles de France aims to defend the interests of all consumers and families.

For instance, each year, Familles de France conducts a major survey on the cost of back-to-school supplies and invites the public authorities not only to reassess, but also and especially to adjust the Back-to-School Allowance (ARS, Allocation Rentrée Scolaire) according to the specialisations chosen by secondary-school pupils and high-school students.

  1. The CNE attaches great importance to the diversity of voices of the partners sitting around the table for the “better of packaging” including particular associations such as Familles de France.
  • Why is it interesting for you to be at the same table as the economic actors (packagers, brands, distributors…)?

The association Familles de France is clearly in favour of sustainable development and the rational use of packaging. Although we are indeed sensitive to the environmental issues, being a consumer association without being an environmental association allows the consumers’ voice to be heard by a wide range of partners.

I, personally, have always been interested in the topic of packaging. Indeed, my final thesis on Programmed Obsolescence focused on the question of packaging, its end of life and its recycling.

  1. During several years, your predecessor Guy Lagonotte, the Secretary of our CNE office, stated the importance of fair and balanced packaging loud and clear, and the CNE takes this opportunity to thank him for his involvement.
  • You are taking over, what are the major causes you want to support for Familles de France?

As the CNE is a self-regulatory organisation that issues best practices, it seems important for Familles de France, with the CNE, to make things move forward by alerting public opinion to the industry actors who do not “play the game” and use unnecessary packaging or overwrap their products, without any reason of hygiene or food safety.

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