Providing a Fair Share for All
With the term “Economy of Love” SEKEM expresses that it is not only about gaining the highest possible profit when cooperating with business partners, but more about a social and respectful dealing with each other’s. SEKEM is working together with Fairtrade International, which is an organization that aims to help producers in developing countries to make better trading conditions and promote sustainability. Fairtrade is a trading partnership, based on dialog, transparency, and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. Fairtrade organizations, backed by consumers, are actively engaged in supporting producers, awareness raising, and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.
Inspired by SEKEM’s holistic vision of an “Economy of Love”, standards for a certfication of sustainable development and transparency have been developed in Egypt.
What Does Fairtrade Mean for SEKEM?
Since SEKEMs overall goal is sustainable development for its community, surrounding areas and Egypt, fair and respectful trading deals are obligatory. But for SEKEM it is even more than fair trading, it is about serving opportunities, equality, cultural and societal development and knowledge sharing, striving to help increase the living standards in all its dimensions of suppliers and all people involved.
The Egyptian Biodynamic Association
Our supply chain management approach ensures that we not only achieve long-term business relationships, but also contribute to the improvement of living conditions and the development of our supplying farmers throughout Egypt. Helmy Abouleish therefore established in 1990 the independent Egyptian Biodynamic Association (EBDA), which promotes the Organic agriculture movement in Egypt and the region. In 1996 it has been registered as a non-governmental, non-profit organization providing training, research and advisory services in the field of Organic and Biodynamic farming to farmers all over Egypt.
The EBDA provides the training and expertise needed to enable farmers to have their land inspected and certified as Organic according to EU standards, or as Biodynamic according to Demeter standard.
Building on SEKEMs experience, expertise and success in the Biodynamic cultivation of crops and through multilateral cooperation with other organizations, EBDA raises awareness of Organic and Biodynamic agricultural methods that work actively with the life giving forces of nature.
Reducing Use of Synthetic Pesticides by Over 90%
EBDA was the first in the world to cultivate and harvest Biodynamic cotton in 1991, both on an experimental and a commercial scale. Since 1994 the Egyptian government has been supporting farmers to cultivate Organic cotton.
A direct result was the landmark achievement of reducing the use of synthetic pesticides on cotton in Egypt by over 90%, from over 35,000 tonnes per year to about 3,000 tonnes. At the same time, the average yield of raw cotton increased by almost 30%.