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Comfort: A new page in the life of ‘Ele Agbe Company Limited’, thanks to a quality certification

Die ghanaische Unternehmerin Comfort Adjahoe-Jennings gründete das Unternehmen Ele Agbe Company Limited im Jahr 1996. Zu Beginn verkaufte sie in einem kleinen Geschäft Schmuck aus recycelten Glasperlen. Im Laufe der Zeit erweiterte sie ihr Unternehmen um den heute für sie wichtigsten Geschäftsbereich. Sie begann mit der Herstellung und dem Verkauf von Shea-Produkten. Der Durchbruch beim Verkauf ihrer Produkte an internationale Käufer*innen gelang ihr damals jedoch noch nicht.

Soon in the process of developing her company, Comfort encountered difficulties to sell her shea products on the international market without any certifications proving the quality of her products. The lack of required certifications particularly prevented her gaining access to major international buyers. This resulted in a stagnating income and less opportunities for her to hire new staff. Therefore, she has soon started concerning herself with questions around product quality and certifications. By 2007, Ele Agbe became a company that engaged in fair trade practices. Ele Agbe successfully gained an organic certification for the Nasheaba product line in 2021. Afterwards, in cooperation with the Alliance for Product Quality in Africa Comfort got the opportunity to participate in the ITC SheTrades training for ISO9001;2015.

She and her employees have gone through several SheTrades training sessions and successfully completed the certification process in February 2022. During these trainings, her employees have learned to understand their business in a better and more professional way. Helena from marketing, for example, has learned how to showcase high-quality products to potential buyers. All employees have learned about the value of quality-oriented work and have developed knowledge about batch manufacturing numbers and expiration dates. The manufacturing process at Ele Agbe now has set procedures and processes to follow. The company has also set up a laboratory to improve quality controls.

However, the changes implemented go even further. The company has also adopted a systematic approach to selecting suppliers that comply with the quality requirements that have been developed. Comfort notes that many of the employees have a changed understanding of working in a team. The departments are more interdependent than before, and the team works better together.

"ISO certification is a new page in our life, because it is a new learning process, which improves our life."

Comfort Adjahoe-Jennings, founder Ele Agbe Company Limited

Ele Agbe has already gotten in touch with some interested international buyers, especially in the European market. Comfort is confident that the ISO certification will open up new markets and hence possibilities to create new jobs and to increase the employees’ incomes.