© 2015 David Vega / JavZ.
Ethiopia, located in the horn of Africa, is the second most populous country in Africa, and has the unique distinction of being the most populous landlocked country in the world. Its largest city, Addis Ababa, a quickly growing and developing metropolis, is home to a population of 4 million and recently became the first city in Sub-Saharan Africa to have its very own Metro transport system.
The $475 million project, a collaboration between Ethiopia and China, created a criss-crossing, two-line system that can carry up to 60,000 commuters per day. Plans call for the metro system to link up with the national railway, creating a public transportation option for travelers all over the country. With such significant public investment, Ethiopia’s economy is set to see rapid growth as workers are able to move about more freely.
Currently, agriculture is the foundation of Ethiopia’s economy, accounting for half of the gross domestic product and over 80% of total employment and exports. While much of farming activity in the country is still simple, small-scale subsistence farming, the country also has significant activities in growing for export. The country’s biggest cash-crop is coffee, but exports of beans, oilseeds, cereals, sugarcane, and potatoes also contribute healthily to country’s export income.
With such a strong and vibrant agricultural community, and such a high participation rate, sometimes technology and smart business decision are what can set one farm-based business apart from another. A key to expanding the agricultural sector in Ethiopia is expanding exported items into new categories and creating a consistent, year-round production schedule. One company that is doing just that is Green Mark Herbs plc, headquartered in Addis Ababa.
While the company runs business activities from its metropolitan headquarters, Green Mark Herbs’ farm is located south of Addis Ababa on the fertile shores of Lake Awassa. The company’s growing facilities utilize both greenhouses and outdoor growing spaces to produce a variety of high quality culinary vegetables, herbs, and spices. Among their regular crops are in-demand herbs such as rosemary, sage, mint, chives, tarragon, oregano, and basil, and vegetables like chili peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, and peas. These delicate and sophisticated products require are more delicate touch to consistently produce than simple grains and legumes, and quality expectations are higher due to their significant contribution to how a dish tastes. © 2015 David Vega / JavZ.
In today’s age of year-round availability of all vegetables, importers must often look outside of their home countries for produce that is not in-season domestically. Green Mark Herbs exports 100% of its output to markets in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, effectively adding to an already strong Ethiopian agricultural export industry. In Europe, Green Mark Herbs’ products can be found in major supermarkets like Albert Heijn, TESCO, Aldi, and M&S.
The company knows that its fortunes and quality are tied to the latest advancements in agricultural science, and as such has been highly involved in the establishment of new agricultural science centers in many of the Universities of Ethiopia. The company utilizes the latest in greenhouses, hydroponics, and irrigation to avoid the pitfalls of drought and pests that plague much of the subsistence farming around the country.
Another important aspect of Green Mark Herbs' quality outlook is its contribution to the wider community. The company takes proactive steps to help its local school children. Management of the company obtained and distributed 20,000 English language books to local schools and libraries, helping to bolster education and learning opportunities.
With continued growth and education in Quality Management techniques, Green Mark Herbs is just the kind of company that becomes eligible to win a BID Quality Award, one of the international quality community’s highest honors.
ABOUT BID AND THE WORLD QUALITY COMMITMENT AWARD:
BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.