Thinking about environmental sustainability should be our priority. Doing this, we will be able to solve the water crisis that the whole world is suffering from. "Aicha" should be an example of an environmental company.
Al Akhawayn University
Mary Grace Neville
Mr. Abdelaziz, the top manager of the production department, was our interviewee, and helped us know more about the system of recycling water that was built. He has been working at the company for more than 30 years now, and this gave him the credibility so that we can fully trust what he was saying. He was the one to come up with this idea, and he chose the most brilliant people in the company that could help him create the system and make it possible to put the idea in the real world and start action. His background in alimental chemistry had helped him a lot with this project. The company requires a lot of water in their activity. The activity in the line where washing fruits and vegetables is done was among the activities that have the highest cost inside the company. The subsidies on water were considerable, so it was mandatory to find a solution that will be beneficial to both the company and the environment. Mr. Abdelaziz, due to his background in alimental chemistry, succeeded in developing a recycling water system that will adapt with the production line. A part of the water used to wash the fruits and the vegetables will be collected and will go through complicated stages in order to get it clean again so that it can be used again in the washing line. The toughest part in the project was building it. According to the manager, it was very difficult to find qualified people that would fit perfectly in this project. Finding the skilled people was the most important thing and it required a lot of time, because a small mistake during the construction of the system could damage the whole production line, and it could cost the company a lot of losses. It also could lead the company to make some dangerous decisions, such us firing their workers in order to reduce their costs so they can fix the deficit.
The most important investment that all should think about as human beings is environmental sustainability. We already started facing the lack of clean water, even though our country Morocco has significant resources due to good climatic conditions, especially in the northern half of Morocco. The major causes behind this issue are the rapidly growing population and the changes in climate due to global warming. The rapidly growing population creates an over-consumption of water. This means that people who live in an area with a surplus of water, or at least their water’s need is satisfied, do not care about the other areas where there is a shortage of water, even though both areas are in the same country, so there is a misallocation of the resources. The second cause is global warming, which leads to drought and desertification of large green areas due to shortages in precipitation. In the past years, Mr. Abdelaziz recognized these causes that menace the future of his company especially, and Morocco generally. Then, he started thinking about recycling the water and reusing it later. One of the goals that he had is the continuity of his company regardless of the water crisis that the whole world faces. Moreover, taking the initiative concerning this project’s idea does not only promote the image of “Aicha” as an environmental company, but also encourages other companies to take a similar action.
The recycled water’s project was launched 5 years ago with a huge budget of millions of MAD. This budget was to cover the cost of the acquisition of new machines and skilled workers.
The overall impact of this project was on the satisfactory results either on the quantity or on the quality of the water recycled. In other words, it impacts the number of liters used every day to wash the fruits and vegetables. Hundreds of thousands of liters were saved.
As it is stated before, hundreds of thousands of liters were saved every day thanks to Mr. Adelaziz’s project. This means that the cost of production decreased, and automatically the profit increased. In addition, this project offered hundreds of new jobs, which requires hiring new people and providing better working conditions.
Also, the market share of the company increases with the increase of production to satisfy not only the local market, but also the overseas markets such as the European Union and United States, which helps the company to introduce new products and diversify them according to local needs. The new status of “Aicha” gives the company new opportunities and partnerships to keep promoting the image of the company’s environmental sustainability.
Through this innovative project, “Aicha” is helping the environment by reducing the severity of the water crisis. Being one of the most important companies of preserved food in Morocco and North Africa, “Aicha,” with its project, shares awareness of the importance of looking for new alternatives to stop or at least diminish the water crisis.
No discussion is needed that this project helps Morocco socially by providing new job opportunities that decrease the unemployment rate. Also, “Aicha” supports the scientific research and development of the National University of Agriculture in Meknes and leaves the floor to innovative ideas of the students. According to L’Economiste.com, Mardochée Devico, president of the group “Aicha," said: “It is in our philosophy to rely on the university.” In addition to its support of the scientific research, it also sponsors every year other events, either cultural like FICAM (Festival International de Cinéma d’Animation de Meknes) or sports such as Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles.
Abdelaziz Essabti, top-manager of the production department
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MEKNES, Morocco, MA
Business Website: www.aicha.ma
Number of Employees: 501 to 1000
“Aicha” Company is considered as one of the pillars of the agricultural production in Morocco, especially the jam industry, as well as preserved food, vegetables, tomato pastes, olive oil and sunflower oil. Since it is a business of food products, it relies a lot on the use of water. This is why the company has made a significant transformation in their production chain and has built a whole system in order to stop the waste of the water used during the production.