Herbiotech is a vertically integrated company, managing 450 hectares of fields exclusively in the rural areas of Kairouan, Beja and Jendouba. We produce and process organic herbs and spices to dry and refine the fresh produce. We are a leading national and regional supplier of organic dried herbs and spices, all exported to world major players in the organic food, feed, and food supplements sectors in North America, Europe and Asia. In this market, trust and quality are essential conditions for the company to successfully survive. We, therefore, aim to impact an additional 500 graduates and 200 rural women to ensure that job decency standards are fulfilled.
The agribusiness industry is a key sector driving economic growth in Tunisia. However, producing organic herbs and spices requires precise and sensitive operations in approaches to weeding and harvesting which are difficult to mechanise.
Potential workers face also face the following problems:
- Indecent transport conditions with limited access to reliable vehicles
- Illiteracy and low educational level provide an obstacle to professional and personal development
- Reluctance for formal contractual relationship principles
In addition, agricultural companies face difficulties recruiting agricultural engineers specialized in the organic production of herbs.
In order to address these challenges, we will offer buses to be leased to transporters to ensure the safe travel of our employees. Internal governance and technical upgrading will be improved to meet international social standards and market requirements.
We will invest in massive regional training and awareness-raising workshops for several cohorts on formal contractual relationships. We will aid in bridging the skills gap in this sector, food safety and technological skills upgrading training for all our workers and the establishment of robust social (Naturland-Fair/ Fair-trade/Biosuisse) and technical (BRC/IFS) certifications.
With company growth, we must provide better administrative and technical training in food quality, safety, and hygiene. As a part of this strategy, we will reinforce our collaboration with the project Elife managed by Fondation Tunisie on upgrading young graduates, encouraging them to stay in their regions and increasing their chances of matching the need of companies like Herbiotech. We also aim to impact our ecosystem by consolidating our contributions with the National Union of Organic Operators (UNOBIO), the KHNA project and ENDA to assist women farmers in the conversion to organic farming of easily marketable and more profitable crops.
With the “democratization” of organic production in Tunisia, the ecosystem will improve and Herbiotech will benefit in the future from more possibilities of having reliable suppliers to meet growing needs and commercial objectives.
CYFE support is instrumental in developing this project. As a growing agro-industrial company, Herbiotech must continue creating jobs, and developing its workers which, with the help of CFYE, can be done by setting regular training sessions in the fields. The CFYE project will help strengthen our collaboration with the Technical Center for Organic Agriculture (CTAB), to organize more academic and practical training for our engineers in areas such as composting and fertilization.