The PASA Program (Supply Chain Improvement Program) is part of a quality approach taken by Boudjebel S.A. VACPA upstream of the date chain.
Since 2002, and being aware that quality begins in the orchards, the company has launched a project to improve the quality of dates by getting involved upstream of the sector. It has been a long-term effort, but it has been very successful. This program has four components:
- Part 1 : Presence of the company in the production areas.
- Part 2 : Creating partnerships with farmer suppliers./span>
- Part 3 : Creation of partnerships with date collectors.
- Part 4 : Date purchase strategy before starting each campaign.
IMPLEMENTATION AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF PASA
- Creation in the production area of an agronomic service headed by a highly qualified agronomist who is now the head of the PASA program. This service includes agronomists and field technicians and its activity can be summarized as follows:
- Establish an agronomic watch center to inform the company of the evolution of the harvest throughout the year and to have a database to better plan its purchases.
- Select farmer partner suppliers based on FSEP survey procedures and integrate them into the program.
- Popularize good agricultural practices for the benefit of farmers who are members of PASA.
- Distribute the products provided by the company for the benefit of producers who are members of the PASA (organic manure, treatment products, nets for the protection of the schemes etc.)
- Monitor the production: the company has a database on the history of production over 12 years: (State of harvests by area, climate monitoring, phytosanitary status, evolution of production etc.).
- Track purchase transactions.
- Assist the producers to manage the documentation of the GlobalGap, Bio and Max Havelaar certified orchards.
- In addition, during the season of dates, the service is reinforced by additional agents for quality control, the assistance of the collectors and the supervision of the gathering sites.
This component aims to set up a partnership with the farmers who supply dates. This partnership is based on two essential points.
- Secure the producer and demonstrate by facts that Boudjebel SA VACPA is not only a commercial entity but also a company that remains attentive to its suppliers and acts according to the principles of win-win and risk-sharing .
- Integrate suppliers into the quality policy of the Company
The producer’s membership in the PASA program is done through a selection process. The number of partner farmers reached 600 members in 11 groups, including:
- 144 are certified Globalgap, 133 Fair trade (Max Havelard) and Organic farming system.
- 43 are certified in Organic Crops System, 13 of which are also Globalgap certified
- 103 are certified in Organic Crops System
At the initiative of Boudjebel S.A. VACPA, these producers now form 11 producer groups through which they receive the assistance provided by the Company, technical support and assistance in the management of certification standards.
The collector is an important link in the supply chain. The objective of PASA is to make these stakeholders partners capable of controlling collection according to the requirements of the company. In 2002, the Company’s collectors had dilapidated deposits and performed their work on an occasional basis during the season. Currently, the company is sourcing from 13 large and standard collection centers.
Boudjebel SA VACPA participates in the capital of three of them and enjoys an exclusive partnership with the rest. These centers are capable of receiving and controlling 15,000 T of dates. Date receipt, quality control, identification, traceability and storage are done under the supervision of the agents sent by the company during the season. These centers now have 4,000 tons of cooling capacity. These centers are linked to the different groups of producer partners.
Once purchasing requirements are established in terms of quantity and quality according to the annual sales program, the FSEP assesses from June the possibilities of making forecasts. This evaluation is based first on the data of the current campaign, but also on several scenarios already established by reference to previous campaigns. The next step is to locate the most interesting production areas, identify and estimate with orchard collectors.
In July, the company distributes mosquito nets to partner farmers, as well as for the floor purchases made by collectors under the supervision of PASA staff.