After many years of planning and preparation, the new production facility for ISIS Organic‘ latest product, a table water, could recently be inaugurated.
It has finally arrived: SEKEMs ISIS Organic has begun to offer its own bottled water on the Egyptian market. The filling station for the new water is situated on SEKEMs farm Adleja, about four kilometres from the main SEKEM farm.
For several years already, the new production lines had been waiting for the starting signal. But until now, the facility lacked one final but crucial element: the official registration of the well. The political instability of recent years and the associated frequent changes of executive staff in the relevant ministries served to postpone the approval process time and again. Thus, staff at the plant were all the more delighted when the new SEKEM factory could be finally opened on 25 February of this year.
Since early March, ISIS Organic has now been selling the bottled water on the Egyptian market in three different bottle sizes (600 ml, 1.5 liter and 5 gal.).
A significant contribution to the realization of the project came for many years from SEKEM co-worker Wolfgang Schulz, who only recently died in SEKEM. The former owner of a juice production facility in Northern Germany had come to SEKEM first in the summer of 2003 and has largely been responsible for implementing the juice production facilities at ISIS Organic. He had served as the chief technician in charge of the construction of the new water filling lines: from the purchase of the equipment to the laying of the pipes to the first test runs there was not a single system the planning or construction of which was not in the hands of Wolfgang Schulz.
Since early March, ten employees have now been hard at work in three shifts around the clock in the new facility. “The water we draw from the deep well is first cleaned thoroughly by multiple filters and then further processed”, explains Mohammed Sami. The former student of the SEKEM School has received his training as a mechanic in the Vocational Training Centre of the initiative and is now responsible for all technical installations in the new factory. He remains indebted to Wolfgang Schulz, with whom he has worked closely and for a long time. He received much of his practical knowledge from the experience of the older colleague.
Together, Wolfgang Schulz and Muhammad Sami have also worked on the construction of the complex filter system, through which the water is freed of coarse contaminants and unwanted bacteria. After extensive treatment, the water is bottled, sealed, and labelled in a machine that presses the labels onto and around the bottles using hot air. “We have chosen a special bottle design to distinguish ourselves from the other producers of bottled water”, says Dr. Mamdouh Abouleish, CEO of ISIS Organic.
A Joyful Day and Farewell
After the long wait, the opening ceremony was a joyful event and at the same time served as a bid of farewell: “Today, we remember our friend and colleague Wolfgang Schulz, to whom SEKEM will remain indebted for a long time. He will be with us in the future not only through his work on the new factory, but also as an executive members of the staff who always put the human relationship to his colleagues first and never stopped to care for their personal well-being”, Helmy Abouleish said at the event.