As a family-run business SOMDIAA has always fostered an operational approach in accordance with basic human values shared by all its employees.
In 2004 a “quality – health & safety in the work place – environment” initiative was organized and implemented. Since then it has grown with environmental and social commitments that have become an integral component of the Group subsidiary strategy and development.
A quality level far above requirements
For the past decade SOMDIAA Group has constantly strived for the best product tailored to the specific needs of its diverse customer base. To that end, SOMDIAA implements ever improved production and control processes with a view to satisfying households as well as traditional producers, shopkeepers or industrial manufacturers.
In addition to implementing its own quality control standards SOMDIAA Group has its subsidiaries audited by independent organizations in order to obtain quality certifications for their processes and products.
ISO 9001:2008 standard
This certification, which is issued by Bureau Veritas Certification France, validates the means of production implemented by SOSUCAM (Société Sucrière du Cameroun) in order to successfully manage its production processes and give its customers confidence that the products they buy meet the latest health & food safety standards.
As part of this quality – health & safety in the work place – environment policy all sugar manufacturing sites have committed to obtaining the ISO 9001 standard by 2015.
NC 11 : 2001 certification
his certification, which is issued after an audit conducted by a private organization, validates sugar production compliance with the Cameroonese standard and confirms SOSUCAM’s capacity to manufacture sugar products in keeping with national health and consumer protection standards.
Employee health & safety
Prevention and training
In a highly industrialized environment safety has to be one key component of SOMDIAA Group’s corporate culture. As such the Group applies a policy focused on prevention and promoting best practices on a daily basis across its sites so as to ensure a safe work place for all. Each site has a committee on hygiene and safety (Comité d’Hygiène et de Sécurité Collectif au Travail; CHSCT) in charge of communicating key messages to staff members and facilitating tailored training programs on a regular basis. Safety procedures have also been developed to take into account the specific hazards related to agro-food industries, especially in sugar manufacturing and flour milling plants. Annual workshops and seminars organized by the Group offer opportunities to improve safety requirements across the African sites.
Healthcare facilities dedicated to employees, their family members and neighboring populations
Along with this safety policy SOMDIAA Group employee health has also been a major concern. Each subsidiary owns its own health facilities in order to meet individual needs in a timely fashion. Provided and covered healthcare not only benefits employees but also their family members and neighboring populations. SOSUCAM set up telemedicine services to improve access to specific healthcare for isolated patients unable to go to the national capital.
Specific and one-off medical outreach initiatives
With strong historical ties to Africa and its people the Group provides annual logistic and financial support to facilitate specialty healthcare outreach programs (dental care, eye care, minor surgery, etc.) within its subsidiaries.
Since 2002, SOMDIAA has worked hand in hand with Médico Lions Club to implement those programs involving substantial healthcare equipment distribution.
Fight against HIV/AIDS
SOMDIAA is aware of the challenge posed by the fight against HIV/AIDS on the African continent. As such it also facilitates on-site initiatives to foster preventive behaviors and encourage its employees to take a confidential and voluntary HIV test all the while offering access to appropriate HIV prevention measures. HIV/AIDS control committees are active in every sugar manufacturing plant and selected on-site healthcare facilities have been granted the status of referring center for HIV/AIDS management in their countries.
Limiting the environmental impact of sugar manufacturing plants
SOMDIAA Group decided to integrate an environmental dimension to its quality policy based on the ISO 14001 standard.
The bagasse-based cogeneration system that was set up in every sugar manufacturing plant already ensures energy self-reliance for plants, villages and irrigation needs when they exist. As a result, the main environmental impacts affect water and air emissions.
The ISO 14001 standard-based initiative helps better control unavoidable discharges coming from plants, cut their water resource consumption and set up an ever more efficient waste treatment system.
In addition, pursuant to the new quality – health & safety in the work place – environment policy, SOMDIAA Group is now committed to cutting waste water quantity by 40%.
This has been taking place in the face of challenging operational conditions for its sugar manufacturing plants, whose rural and remote locations make it difficult to manage waste collection and recycling among other things.
By-products and cogeneration
SOMDIAA Group also limits its impact by re-using by-products stemming from sugar cane processing such as bagasse and molasses. These by-products are mainly used as animal feed.
The Group is also planning on making huge investments to strengthen the cogeneration systems of its sugar manufacturing plants. This will contribute to improve production efficiency and capacities of the existing plants as well as enable the potential export of power (based on renewable energy resources) across local networks in the event of a surplus.
The sugar business of SOSUCAM, SOMDIAA’s Cameroonese subsidiary, was granted the following certification:
ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATION
This certification is issued by the Government after an audit conducted by an independent organization and validates company commitment to comply with national regulations in the area of environment protection and to improve the working environment of its employees and neighboring populations. It provides evidence as to SOSUCAM’s willingness to work with respect to its natural environment and its focus on protecting the living environment of its employees and neighboring populations.