The raw anise plants from the field are transported directly to the first processing stop, which is the company Lotus. Before drying and cleaning, the plants are kept for 14 days in quarantine until all results from taken samples are meeting the high standards of Economy of Love, Demeter and Organic. Once all tests have been finished successfully, every product has to be CO2 contaminated in order to get rid of small larvae’s, insects and other microbiological risks. In the next phase the plants are cleaned and the pure anise seeds are sieved. The sieved anise is now ready to be filled into 20Kg paper bags. Sewn up and loaded onto Euro pallets, they are leaving the Lotus company.
As soon as the Anise arrived in the isis organic food company, the quality team is taking samples of each load in order to ensure a continuous high quality standard. After ensuring the quality, the raw material is send to the packing machine. Once the Anise is filled into the tea bag machine, small portions of 25g are filled into tea bags. The machines are producing 240 tea bags per minute, around 2 million tea bags per day which equals 800 tons of anise per year. After the process of putting the tea bags into the tea boxes, the boxes are packed into cartons and directly shifted to the trucks that transport the teas to their distribution place.
Have you ever wondered why there is no holistic product certification in place that includes the sustainability approach of the packaging? We did. Therefore we are increasing transparency along even external elements of the supply chain. The product of anise tea has a high percentage of packaging which should also be sourced and produced sustainably.
The company that produces the paper boxes is just outside Cairo in 10th of Ramadan, about 20 Km east of the SEKEM factories. The packaging factory provides medical insurance, safety and on the job trainings to all employees. The company allocate a special budget for CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). Moreover they are committed to transform the paper industry towards more eco-friendly production and reduction of waste.
The tea filters are made out of fine interwoven fibers sourced from certified forestry (FSC, Sustainable Forestry Initiative). The company focuses on environmentally-friendly raw material and renewable fiber. They are constantly searching for methods to reduce carbon emissions, increase forestry management and monitor water discharge. The company is situated in Germany, which ensures high quality and sustainable resource management.
The paper of the tag is FSC certified. Besides striving to reduce their environmental impact, the company is known for researching sustainable alternatives and offering even compostable materials. The company is following the Economy of Love code of conduct and is SEDEX certified, which shows that they are committed to ethical and social leadership.
Comparing prices of food products always show that conventional goods are cheaper than organic products. However this price does not reflect on the whole impact that food and agriculture activities have on natural capital. These costs are called externalized costs and are normally not communicated and visible for the end consumer.
Economy of Love is calculating the True Cost of each product to reflect the impact we have on natural capital. The impact you have is calculated in monetary terms, so that “hidden costs” of production, which were externalized in the old system, are made visible.
The Social Cost of Carbon is a value which tries to represent the net global climate change impact value over the next 100 years for one additional emitted tone of carbon today. Only values which can be monetarized, are included in the calculation. There are several attempts on calculating this value. In the following the SCC value is used from the FAO report on the global food wastage footprint in 2014 (FAO n.d.; Visser 2017). Hence, there has to be emphasized that in the following results, the net benefit values in EGP cannot be seen as real income but as a social impact value.
The transport of the Anise raw product is organized by the processing company Lotus. After the harvest of the anise plants, Mohamed Taha Kasem, the driver of a small truck is traveling to the farm to pick up the raw anise plants. After the transportation to Lotus, the plants are being processing in several steps. Once all steps in Lotus are done, Mohamed Ahmed loads the bags of raw material on his tuk tuk and drives it to the Isis factory. After the raw material is packed in tea bags and boxes, the products are handed over to Ahmet Halal. He is responsible for taking the ready products to the local markets.
Mohamed Taha Kasem is 31 years old and is responsible for picking up agriculture goods from farms all over Egypt.
Mohamed Ahmed is responsible for transporting the cleaned anise raw material from the Lotus factory to the Isis processing company.
Ahmed Helal is 38 years old and responsible to drive the finished tea products from the SEKEM processing center to the stores and logistic centers.