Selet Hulling PLC (hereafter Selet) was established in December 2007 and is a Joint Venture between Kaleb Service Farmers House (hereafter Kaleb) and The Organic Cooperation B.V. (hereafter TOC).
Kaleb is an Ethiopian company that is specialized in the export of different agricultural food products, which include oil seeds, coffee and different types of Ethiopian spices and the import of different agricultural machineries into Ethiopia (e.g. combine harvesters and tractors from CLAAS Germany).
TOC is a Dutch-based holding company for Tradin Organic Agriculture B.V.; Trabocca B.V.; Holland Business Winged-Ox and Internamtrade B.V. TOC’s companies are specialized in the international sourcing and supply of certified organic ingredients for the world food and bakery industry (which includes grains; seeds; pulses; dried fruits and nuts; cocoa and coffee; sugar and sweeteners; juices, purees and concentrates; frozen fruits and vegetables, oils and fats, and animal feed). TOC develops sustainable agricultural projects around the world and sources over 80% of its raw materials out of its own companies and projects e.g. Ethiopia, Serbia, China, Thailand, Mexico, Ghana, Bulgaria, Philippines, Vietnam, etc. TOC is owned by the Canadian SunOpta Inc. group.
The company’s main objectives include:
- Setting up a top-of-the–range quality HACCP operated, organic certified hulling factory (using the dry/mechanical hulling method), with the capacity to produce 1,500 – 1,700 kg per hour of organic hulled sesame seeds. Further processing is going to be undertaken to produce roasted hulled sesame, sesame oil, tahini and halva.
- Initiating the internationally certified organic production of sesame, cotton, soya beans and mung beans on Selet’s own farm, with an out growers’ scheme composed of more than 1,500 farming families within the vicinity of the farm in the very remote area of Humera district in the Tigray Region (that is in the North West of Ethiopia, on the border with Sudan and Eritrea).
Selet Hulling PLC’s mission is to be the world food and bakery industry’s premier supplier of top quality, competitively priced, certified organic hulled sesame seeds for a healthier living.
The company’s main strategies include:
- Construction of a top-of-the-range HACCP and organic certified sesame processing factory that will process the organic sesame seed into top quality hulled sesame.
- The sesame will be of a consistently high organic product quality, in accordance with the following rules and regulations: the EU 834/2007; 889/2008, the NOP (USA) and JAS (Japan).
- High intrinsic product and company quality guarantees, according to HACCP, BRC etc. standards will be assured.
- Direct sourcing from the farmers (thereby increasing product quality control) and the ability of the JV to organize its own processing and sales through TOC (with its already established sales and marketing force), will ensure the ability to competitively price the high quality hulled sesame and consequently result in the sesame becoming highly competitive on the world market.
- Provision of training for capacity building of all project participants, i.e. i) the out grower farmers in Humera involved in the growing of the raw material for hulling (train-the-trainer approach will be used) and ii) the factory workers, where the sesame will undergo processing.
LOCAL DEVELOPMENT EFFECTS
The project has a positive impact on the livelihoods of many Ethiopian people and on the economy as a whole in the following aspects:
- Higher incomes for the families of the targeted 1500 farmers (who will be certified organic, hence will receive an organic premium),
- Creation of employment (50 permanent predominantly female employees working in the factory and at least 3000 seasonal workers at the farming level in Humera, as sesame growing is labor intensive),
- Introduction of the new technology of dry hulling in Ethiopia (hence making Selet the pioneer of (dry ) hulling organic sesame in Ethiopia) thereby ensuring local value-addition, which is very beneficial for the economy as a whole,
- The project is very environmentally friendly and has no negative health effects on project participants thanks to the nature of the products, that are Organic, for which the production processes are centered on promoting the environment and ensure no exposure to hazardous materials,
- Capacity building through training at both the factory and farming levels and,
- The project supports local health and educational initiatives.