MeadWestvaco Packaging Systems LLC and Merial Ltd. received the first Crystal Peach awards from the Atlanta chapter of the French-American Chamber of Commerce last week at a dinner held at the Capital City Country Club in Brookhaven.

Some 100 people attended the event that was organized by the chamber in cooperation with the Invest in France Agency, the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The awards recognized significant investment in France by American companies and investment in Georgia and the Southeast by French companies.

Similar awards ceremonies have been held by chapters of the French-American chambers in Boston, New York and Philadelphia.

MeadWestvaco is a producer of packaging, coated and specialty papers, consumer and office products and specialty chemicals. The company has operations in 29 countries and was chosen because of its acquisition of Aries Packaging SA, which is located in France’s Champagne region. The company’s headquarters is in Stamford, Conn., but the packaging division is based in Atlanta.

Merial, an animal health company, is a joint venture between the U.S. company of Merck & Co. and Sanofi-Aventis SA. It was chosen for relocating its North American headquarters in 2003 to Duluth where it employs some 400 people. Merial also operates research and development and manufacturing operations in Athens and Gainsville. The company has more than 900 employees in Georgia.

Other companies that were honored included the U.S. companies Air2Web and Southern States Inc. and the French companies LaFarge and Saint-Gobain Desjonqueres Manufacturing Inc.

The French financial firms Axa Group and BNP Paribas co-hosted the event that was attended by officials from the Invest in France Agency in New York, the French embassy in Washington as well as officials from the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

To learn more about upcoming French-American chamber events to or call (404) 846-2500.