From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryConsumer products
FounderMarc Grégoire[1]
ParentGroupe SEB

Tefal S.A.S. (a portmanteau of TEFlon and ALuminium.[3]) is a French cookware and small appliance manufacturer, owned by Groupe SEB (a global manufacturer of cookware) since 1968.[4] The company is known for creating the non-stick cookware category[3] and for offering frying equipment with a low requirement of fat or oils.[5]

In the United States, Tefal is marketed as T-fal.[6] This is to comply with DuPont's objection that the name "Tefal" was too close to DuPont's trademark "Teflon".[1] The T-fal brand is also used in Canada[7] and Japan.[8][9]

Besides cookware and cooking appliances, the Tefal brand is also applied to home appliances such as steam irons[10] and vacuum cleaners.[11]

Pollution scandal[edit]

In August 2022, ARS carried out drinking water sampling, and discovered that the level of PFOA, a compound whose use has been banned since 2020, was 1.5 times higher than the maximum health value.[12]

In February 2023, the newspaper Le Monde published an article on PFAS contamination at certain French sites, pointing the finger at the Rumilly production site and highlighting the massive contamination of groundwater in the area. Former employees accused the Seb group of "dumping its PTFE sludge by truck in what used to be a landfill site", which the group denied.[13]

A month later, the Haute-Savoie prefecture and ARS issued a statement advising people "not to eat fish caught in the Rumilly area ".

Influence peddling case[edit]

In 2013, a case of influence peddling broke out in Annecy.

Tefal management wanted to modify the employment contracts of certain employees, but a workers' union refused.

The tug-of-war lasted several weeks, until the labor inspectorate intervened. The labor inspector in charge of the case discovered an irregularity in the 35-hour agreement signed thirteen years earlier and asked for it to be renegotiated, but management refused.

Philip Paillard of the Union des Industries et Métiers de la Métallurgie and Human Resources Director Dan Abergel decide to put pressure on the labor inspector to get her transferred.

Tefal management also contacted the intelligence services.[14]

The inspector soon received pressure and threats from her superiors. The press revealed that the company had agreed to recruit a close associate of Philippe Dumont, the departmental director of labor, in exchange for putting pressure on the labor inspector on behalf of the company.

Tefal decided to lodge a complaint against the labor inspector for breach of professional secrecy and handling stolen goods. The Annecy public prosecutor, Eric Maillaud, a close friend of Philippe Dumont, decides to follow up the complaint, not against the company or the inspectorate director, but against the labor inspector and the whistleblower to "clean up" the labor inspectorate. On June 5, 2015, hundreds of people demonstrated outside the court in support of the labor inspector.

The trial is adjourned until October 16. At the same time, trade unions from the Ministry of Labor , local interprofessional unions and Tefal's CGT and FO sections call for a rally in front of the court.

In January 2016, labor inspector Laura Pfeiffer was awarded the "Ethics Prize" by the Anticor association for her work in this case. Nevertheless, in November 2016, she was convicted on appeal for breach of professional secrecy and concealment of confidential documents. In May 2017, journalist Inès Léraud presented a report on the case on the TV program Les Pieds sur terre.[15]

In October 2018, the Cour de cassation overturned the sentence and requested that the case be retried in light of the article of the Sapin II law providing protection for whistleblowers. The case was retried before the same Lyon court in September 2019, with judgment reserved until October 24 of the same year.

On October 24, 2019, the Lyon Court of Appeal, ruling on a referral, nonetheless confirmed Laura Pfeiffer's conviction for "concealment of breach of secrecy of correspondence and breach of professional secrecy", with a €3,500 fine and €1,000 in damages in favor of the civil parties. The Court did not uphold the benefits of the Sapin II Act and the resulting criminal irresponsibility, as the necessary criteria were not met in this case, in particular compliance with a "graduated procedure", disinterestedness, and "taking particular precautions before making public the subject of the alert": "By disregarding all the rules of investigation and professional practices applicable to all labor inspectors, and by knowingly concealing electronic correspondence, Laura Pfeiffer behaved in a manner that was not only hasty but also totally inappropriate".


  1. ^ a b c Funderburg, Anne Cooper (2000) [2000]. "Making Teflon Stick". American Heritage's Invention & Technology. 16 (1). Archived from the original on 2021-02-26 – via inventionandtech.com.
  2. ^ "TEFAL". Dun & Bradstreet. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  3. ^ a b Masson, Pascal Le; Weil, Benoît; Hatchuel, Armand (2010-09-09). Strategic Management of Innovation and Design. Cambridge University Press. pp. 160–162. ISBN 9781139915595.
  4. ^ "History of Groupe SEB". Groupe SEB. Archived from the original on 2021-03-07. Retrieved 2021-08-01. 1968 Acquisition of Tefal and ...
  5. ^ "Kitchen test: Tefal vs Breville low-fat fryers". www.lovefood.com.
  6. ^ "TEFAL/T-FAL International limited guarantee" (PDF). Tefal. 2021-07-01. p. 2. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-08-01. Retrieved 2021-08-01. TEFAL household appliances appear under the T-FAL brand in some territories like America and Japan. (PDF file under the warranty web page)
  7. ^ "T-fal Canada homepage". T-fal Canada. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  8. ^ "T-fal homepage". Groupe SEB Japan. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  9. ^ "Your Tefal (T-fal) Questions, Answered". www.homecookworld.com. 9 July 2021. Retrieved 2021-07-10.
  10. ^ "Tefal launches small steam generator irons". Which?. 2015-01-15. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  11. ^ "Can Tefal vacuum cleaners rival Dyson?". Which?. 2017-01-20. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  12. ^ "Présence de composés perfluorés (PFAS) dans l'eau potable sur la commune de Rumilly". Ville de Rumilly (in French). Retrieved 2023-11-03.
  13. ^ "En Haute-Savoie, les nappes phréatiques de Rumilly contaminées au PFOA". www.20minutes.fr (in French). 2023-02-24. Retrieved 2023-11-03.
  14. ^ "A l'inspection du travail, la casserole Tefal - Libération". archive.wikiwix.com (in French). 2014-10-14. Retrieved 2023-11-03.
  15. ^ "L'inspectrice du travail de Tefal : épisode • 5/14 du podcast Celles et ceux qui changent le monde". France Culture (in French). Retrieved 2023-11-03.