AN Enterprising WOMAN

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Khadija is one of the few women heading a saffron cooperative, an exception in a region where strong differences between men and women prevail. Women have more difficulties accessing employment or credit. Their voice is also hardly heard.

Supporting women’s cooperatives like Khadija’s and promoting the involvement of women in decision-making bodies of other cooperatives is therefore essential for improving their position and social and economic situation. 

PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN THE VALUE CHAIN

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hard WORK

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Saffron is the only spice in the world extracted from a flower. It is expensive because much manual labour is involved. Usually this work is done by women.

From October to mid-November, in the early hours, Khadija and other women of Taliouine pick the crocus flowers. Saffron is the tiny red pistil which needs to be extracted from the heart of the flower. It is a delicate stage in the production of saffron. Flower after flower, women extract the pistil, a meticulous work that requires patience and that is done in group. Saffron ties these women together.

The extracted threads are dehydrated as quickly as possible in order to conserve saffron quality. Once dried, all impurities are removed and the threads are weighed and packed.

All these stages help explain why the spice is so expensive. Yet, those who work so hard in the production process do not get the benefits. 

Promoting sales via strong producers’ organisations is one way of changing things. Fatima, a coach, is part of this change. Watch her testimonial and find out how she works with the cooperatives.

FROM FLOWER TO SPICE

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PRODUCTION in NUMBERS

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SAFFRON: A BLOOMING VALUE CHAIN

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Pick a player in the value chain and find out how (s)he contributes to its development.
Cooperatives, the future of the saffron value chain
Fatima, local coach
her story
A laboratory near producers
Fatima-Zahra, lab technician and An, biochemist
their story
In search of new clients
Hassan, salesman
His STORY

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