Environmentally friendly Zelliges from Morocco
The Dutch applicant De Tegel B.V. and the Moroccan partner Aquafocus Sarl have set up a joint venture for the responsible production of Zelliges (Moroccan tiles) in Khemisset. Traditional production of Zelliges is very hazardous for the environment and people. Moreover, child labour is commonly used in the sector. The Moroccan government took measures to reduce the pollution from traditional ovens, which resulted in the closing down of many traditional companies. This led to a decrease of Zelliges, while the international demand is still rising. This project sets an example of 'ecological' production and the way this hazardous and polluting industry can be transformed into a decent and clean industry. Environmentally-friendly gas-fuelled kilns to bake the Zelliges are being used and non-toxic glazes have been introduced. Special attention is given to Corporate Social Responsibility and the working conditions of the employees, which were far below any (international) standard. Profit margins of traditional production were small because there was 50% waste, due to production errors of traditional production methods. By using new production methods, the partners reduce waste and produce more efficiently.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
The partners have drafted and implemented a CSR policy, in order to create social impact and to strengthen the commitment of employees. The same working standards as in the Netherlands are applied. Employees have a voice in the organization. The organization will be ISO and SA8000 certified.
- Employment and working conditions
At the end of the project 55 employees will be working for the joint venture.
The salaries within the joint venture will at least be 120% of the minimum wages and on average 178%. Each employee will have 24 paid holidays and 13 national holidays. After a year employees will receive an indefinite contract. Free lunches and drinks will be provided. Free health care insurance will be offered to the employees and their children. Working clothes, shoes, safety and protective equipment are supplied. All employees receive safety training and the safety regulations will be applied vigorously. Education of children from employees will be positively influenced.
- Innovation / Transfer of knowledge
Environmentally friendly production, safety regulations and CSR are very new in the Zelliges industry and Morocco. All employees are trained on these subjects and on how to respect the environment in general and how to handle waste. The largest part of the equipment will also be new to Morocco.
- Chain effects
If the project partners manage to make the project visible to other producers, it can set an example in terms of CSR and environmental Zelliges production.
The factory reduces the footprint of Zellige production by using gas fuelled kilns instead of wood fired ovens and by the introduction of non-toxic glazes. Also the percentage of discarded Zelliges is drastically reduced by using modern production methods.
- Position of women
The joint venture will give equal employment opportunities for women.
Private Sector Investment programme (PSI)
De Tegel B.V., Aquafocus SARL, Netherlands Enterprise Agency