The natural wealth of a country should be a driving force of regional development. In our activities in Cameroon, we seek to generate added value in the country, allowing us to create better jobs, with better pay and better working conditions, improving the quality of life of our employees and local communities.
In order to achieve this goal, we have moved the manufacturing process of Ebony closer to its source. Instead of exporting raw timber from Cameroon, we processed the ebony in the factory and turn it into a high added value product, cut, selected and ready for use in the music industry. By selling a manufactured product, we can defend a fair price for Cameroonian Ebony that respects the value of the natural product that we work with, acting as a motor for economic development.
A fair price for Cameroon’s Ebony
The traditional production model of Ebony is based on extracting the timber from Cameroon at the lowest possible cost. This has created an unfair business model that has plundered the country of its natural resources, leaving little value behind.
The downward pressure on prices has reduced the price of ebony on international markets, pushing producers to compete to cut costs, which has promoted low pay and poor working conditions.
At Crelicam, we want to reverse this pattern. We export ebony that is already cut and selected, marketing it as a value-added product that can be sold at a fair price on international markets. By investing in training and technology, we can create better jobs in Cameroon, promoting the country's development.
Employment, training and development
Better jobs for Cameroon
It is not enough to create jobs.
We need to create better jobs, with better pay and better working conditions, and invest in training and personal development of workers and their communities.
In the five years we have been leading the Crelicam project, our employees’ jobs have changed dramatically. Their salaries have doubled and they now enjoy a healthy hot lunch as part of their benefits for working at Crelicam. We also have acquired safety equipment for preventing accidents at work and we have added a company doctor for our employees and their families.
We have also invested in better facilities. We have built a kitchen and a bathroom, bringing running water into Crelicam.
With our new facilities we now have a working space that is adequate for treating and storing wood and that allows employees to work in a safe and pleasant environment.
The new facilities
Transforming work in the forest: Unimogs
Working in the dense tropical forests of Cameroon is extremely hard. In order to extract the ebony from these forests, workers had to move the logs (which can weigh several tons) on their shoulders, walking for kilometers to reach the roads and finally deposit the logs on trucks.
We have radically improved the conditions of these workers with the acquisition of two specialized vehicles. These vehicles, our Unimogs, can penetrate the forest, making the extraction work much less demanding than before.
Gender equality: women of Crelicam
The role of women in the labor market is still undervalued in Africa. However, in the house, they are the ones who control finances, ensure the well being of all members of the family and care for children and elders.
We believe in these women’s potential. We have increased the number of women working at Crelicam from 1 to 7, which has already shown to be a successful strategy. Our female employees have their own support group, Women of Crelicam.
One company, one team
Our employees are proud to be part of Crelicam. We promote their team spirit though social activities, such as our Football team, the birthday parties that we have for all employees, and participating in the Labor Day parade as a company.
In Africa, just like in Europe and in the United States, we make the well-being of our employees a top priority and we take pride in having built a great team.
Community and quality of life
We want the added value we create with our work at Crelicam to contribute to a better quality of life for the people of Cameroon. We want a better well-being not only for our employees, but for the whole of society.
A public source of fresh water
In Africa, clean water is a scarce resource. Having a source of water nearby, which we take for granted, can make a big difference in the daily life of an African family.
At Crelicam, we have built a well that supplies the factory and the entire local community around it. The structure of the well is inside the Crelicam facilities, while the spring is outside, available for public use.
About 300 people from the local community are using the well on a regular basis.
Crelicam schooling program
Our employees’ school-age children can benefit from the schooling aid program that we have implemented.
We want to ensure that these children have access to education. Our schooling program has benefited 77 children of 41 families in the 2015-16 school year. This year, all Crelicam families with school-age children have adhered to the school aid program.