In July 2021, the SMSA Chaambi, accompanied by Fert and its Tunisian partner Ager, sold its first 50 kilos of essential oil of rosemary cineole to the solidarity company Ethiquable. The essential oil will be available at the end of October in French stores.

Just a few months ago, the SMSA Chaambi participated in an exchange visit to get inspiration for its project to collect and process aromatic and medicinal plants.

The SMSA Chaambi brings together about fifty young farmers from Ouled Mansour near the Chaambi mountain in the governorate of Kasserine in Tunisia. Since 2020, Fert and its partner Ager have been supporting the cooperative in setting up services for members, including agricultural advice and the supply of agricultural inputs. Among the members of the cooperative, about ten have private plots of wild rosemary, so the cooperative wanted to offer a rosemary collecting and processing service for these farmers.

SMSA Chaambi was put in touch with Ethiquable, a participative cooperative society (SCOP) that supports peasant and organic agriculture.

In record time, the SMSA Chaambi has built its project and signed a first order. The young cooperative has worked on the cost of essential oil, found a provider to distill the rosemary and finally obtained a certification of organic farming from the Tunisian government. A fair trade certification with the Symbol of peasant producers is being validated. This certification belongs to farmers’ organizations and follows the philosophy of fair trade and solidarity economy. It guarantees a minimum purchase price taking into account the quality of the product and its production cost to ensure a fair remuneration to the farmers.

The essential oil of the SMSA Chaambi will then be sold in French supermarkets of medium and large surface under the brand Ethiquable. The name of the SMSA Chaambi will also be written on the bottle. Indeed, one of the specificities of Ethiquable is its operation in monoproduct: each of their products comes from a single organization of producers; “a product = a project”.

This first operation was a success for the Tunisian cooperative, but new challenges are emerging: the SMSA Chaambi will have to transform this project into a sustainable and durable service for its member farmers. To do this, it will have to improve distillation and plant more rosemary to increase the volume of essential oil.  Fert, Ager and Ethiquable will continue to support the SMSA in this project.