Caring for the community
Afriflora Sher implements a sustainable personnel policy that focuses on people in its immediate surroundings. A sports complex and church are two good examples of this.
Culture and self-esteem are encouraged via sport and games. That is why a sports complex, which has its own stadium, was built behind the company’s greenhouses. This sports complex is used for in-house football competitions among employees and for competitions that are set up between various companies in and around Ziway. A road has been built between Ziway and the stadium in order to make the facilities accessible to as many people as possible.
A beautiful church has been built behind the farm; this initiative was partly funded by Afriflora Sher.
Afriflora has teamed up with IDH to work on a project aimed at promoting responsible water use by the local community and preventing erosion. Trees in Ethiopia are mainly used for logging and as a fuel, which means the country is eroding. This project involves planting trees in an area of 172 ha. The area has been identified by the local community. Various watering sites have been created so farmers can water their cattle. This helps to avoid a long trek to the lake every day. Grass that grows between the trees serves as livestock feed. The selected trees also bear fruit, which means they serve as a source of nutrition when the fruit is ripe. The benefits are thus two-fold. But the trees are also monitored by security guards to make sure that all fruit is not plundered. This also creates employment opportunities.
INVESTING IN EMPLOYEES
Local people are responsible for washing, harvesting and packing the roses. This means local employees play an essential role in the farm’s success. A lot of investment takes place in training and instructions for all activities. For instance, because natural predators are used during crop protection, a training programme has been established for a team of scouts. They evaluate crops on a daily basis, for the presence of diseases and plagues, and regularly follow refresher courses so they can remain up-to-date. Other examples include training/courses relating to hygiene, gender equality, HIV-AIDS and family planning.
Afriflora Sher offers its employees social facilities in addition to their regular salaries. The salaries paid by Afriflora Sher are above the average salary in Ethiopia and also above the World poverty line. Naturally, the company also meets all legal requirements when it comes to pension accrual. Each employee is also entitled to free healthcare. The children of employees are also entitled to free education at Sher schools.
A works council has been set up and is able to play an active role, which has resulted in a Collective Bargaining Agreement being established together with the trade unions.
When performing local projects, everything is done to maximise the involvement of local businesses. This leads to new jobs and employment opportunities. This means Afriflora Sher also indirectly contributes to welfare in the region.