Organic fair trade, naturally
After this long presence in Africa and the considerable groundwork achieved, the company was naturally awarded Bio Equitable (Organic Fair Trade) certification in 2003. “As with organic, we had a 10-year headstart for fair trade. We were one of the first companies to sign up to the Organic Fair Trade standard: cocoa and quinoa chains already existed, and we added sesame. When we looked at their standard, we realised we already met the criteria,” he recalls.
Besides the ethical dimension, Organic Fair Trade was an effective way to build a high-quality supply chain over the long term, with as few intermediaries as possible between Huilerie Emile Noël and its producers. “By offering producers pre-funding and a full set of guarantees, we earned their trust,” says Emile. “And when people trust you, they do good work.” Besides sesame from Mali, the company’s Organic Fair Trade activity includes argan oil from Morocco and apricot kernels from Turkey. Other projects have since started up in Mali, for baobab nuts and shea butter. In this North-South trade, as in all its purchasing of raw materials, Huilerie Emile Noël conducts regular monitoring, training and numerous quality checks alongside the farmers to ensure the origin and traceability of its supplies.
Extracts translated from Béatrice Thibault