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Sekem expands fair trade project

02.12.2003 - Sekem

The Egyptian Sekem Group is expanding its activities in the fair trade movement.

According to a report in the most recent issue of Sekem Insight, the expansion of an existing project of the Group to include the Farmer’s Development Association was approved by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO) in Bonn, Germany, at the end of October  and the Association was included on the list of registered producers.

Since the start of the year Sekem has been involved in a pilot project by the Soil Association and the Fairtrade Labelling Association, the first of its kind in Egypt in which production processes for a number of products were audited and certified in accordance with the fair trade rules, the report said.

Now this project has been expanded to include the Farmer’s Development Association, the cultivation partner of the SekemGroup located in the Nile delta and northern Sinai consisting of 128 small farmers.

Further audits of Sekem cultivation partners in central and upper Egypt are planned to expand the range of certified fair trade products, so that soon other fruit, herbs and spices will be available alongside the rice and oranges already being supplied.

According to Sekem Insight, Sekem also intends to build up a local market for fair trade products and to make customers more aware of the necessity to develop such activities.

The Group intends to promote the establishment of an Egyptian fair trade association to create the legal basis for the sale of fair trade certified products locally in Egypt.

The Sekem Group consists of six independent companies founded on anthroposophical principles by Prof. Abouleish in 1977. Today as Sekem Holdings they are leading Egyptian producers of bio-dynamic food, herbs and teas and one of the largest producers of natural clothing and medicines. The profits of SEKEM Holding mainly go to support social and cultural facilities.

The Fairtrade Labelling Organisation is a worldwide standards and certification organisation based in Bonn. It permits more than 800,000 producers and their dependents in more than 40 countries to benefit from labelled fair trade.