We acquire large part of our range of herbs and spices from our trade partner Sekem in Egypt. Chamomile, peppermint, onion and garlic are some of the products grown by this company, located some 50 km east of Cairo, in the middle
of the desert.
Sekem was established in 1977 and, by now, has grown into a company with 2,600 hectares of available agricultural land. Sekem pays a lot of attention to its biodynamic agricultural methods, to the products it yields and to the people
involved in this project.
Sekem produces an extensive line of organic (-dynamic) products, both for the national market and for export. Herbs and spices are one of the main product segments. The products have an excellent flavour, which is due to the good climate and the long years of experience that is required to produce products of the highest quality. Sekem has obtained the HACCP certificate in 2004, which guarantees excellent product safety. Apart from herbs and spices, Sekem also produces essential oils, fruit & vegetables and textile, among other things.
Sekem pays special attention to the education and the well-being of the local people. At present, 260 children are receiving education at Sekem, from nursery school to secondary school level, and 160 adults are being trained in the training centre. The medical centre on the premises is responsible for the medical care of the 15,000 residents of both Sekem and its surrounding area. There is also an academy of applied arts and technology, managed by an interdisciplinary team.
Today, some 2,000 people are working and learning at Sekem, mostly women, who otherwise would have had very little job opportunities in Egypt. The Sekem initiative and its founder, Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish, have been nominated for the “Right Livelihood Award 2003”, also known as the alternative Nobel Prize, for its approach of socially sound entrepreneurship.
The word ‘Sekem’ is a translation of an old Egyptian hieroglyph meaning ‘the vitality of the sun’.