Berrico’s date supplier: Boudjebel
Boudjebel S.A. VACPA (Valorization and Packaging of the Agricultural Product) was founded in 1982 by the Boudjebel family, who have been exporting fruit items since 1957. Boudjebel is the current world leader in the export of Deglet Nour dates, exporting more than 13,000 tons annually of this ‘miracle fruit’. The dates are grown in desert oases in Tunisia by more than 600 smallholders. All farmers are carefully selected and evaluated on their farming practices and their extensive knowledge on how to care for their palm trees.
At Berrico we are not a team because we work together. We are a team because we respect, trust and care for each other.
Boudjebel is committed to safeguarding the environment through sustainable development and strives for excellence through its eagerness to learn and progress. The company invests in the continuous development of staff skills and involvement through their integrated management system and training. Aware that quality begins in the orchards, Boudjebel launched a supply improvement program titled PASA back in 2002 to improve the quality of its products. This program includes the following components:
- Presence in the production area by creating an agronomic unit that safeguards the harvest throughout the year and is led by agronomists and field technicians. This unit also distributes products to farmers such as organic manure, treatment products and mosquito nets.
- Investing in building strong partnerships with farmers and treating each supplier with fairness and respect to allow them to benefit from the fruits of their work. Each producer goes through a selection process after which they are integrated in the company’s quality policy.
- Investing in building strong relationships with date collectors as these play a significant role in the supply chain. Boudjebel manages these stakeholders to control the collection and supervision of date receipt, quality control, traceability and storage during the season.
- Developing and evaluating purchase strategy before starting each campaign. The company does this by determining the quantity and quality of purchase requirements and identifying the most interesting production areas and orchards together with the collectors.
Boudjebel also established Boudjebel LAB, an internal analysis laboratory dedicated to innovation and R&D. This is a national first among Tunisian agri-food companies and can be categorized into two different laboratories:
- Physico-chemical analysis laboratory that is responsible for controlling the physicochemical quality of the dates
- Microbiological laboratory that examines the microbiological quality of dates and the environment
Boudjebel dates are available in organic and conventional quality with fair trade on request. The company carries the following certifications: BRCS, BSCI, ECO CERT, FAIRTRADE, GLOBAL G.A.P, IFS, SKAL, and SMETA.