On December 2nd, 2019 a delegation of more than 40 persons, lead by Germany’s Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Mr. Gerd Müller and Germany’s Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Mr. Hubertus Heil, visited Desta PLC. The General Manager of Desta PLC welcomed them and took them on the factory tour. Among the Guests of Honor we were happy to welcome Mrs. Brita Wagener, Ambassador of the German Embassy, Addis Ababa and Mr. Teka Gebreyesus, Ethiopia’s State Minister for Trade and Industry.
The tour started by examining the company’s code of conduct and the plan of Desta’s eco-friendly expansion project in Butajira, which already started production. The company policy was placed at disposal and could easily be consulted. Workers’ associations inevitably became subject of discussion. A question was posed to the president of the workers’ association about the number of workers, number of associations and about salaries. The average salary of the operators is 2400 ETB, which is equivalent to about 80 USD. Considering the monthly average in Ethiopia, this is a good salary.
Since Desta PLC is supplying for the German market, the focus was on fair working conditions. Particular attention was given to chemical handling, safety, better work environment and freedom of association. On the tour questions were raised regarding the salary calculations (pension, tax) and the overtime policies, which are posted on each floor. Mr. Eyob Bekele gave further clarification.
On the tour Germany’s Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Mr. Gerd Müller, said, that “standards in social and ecological areas have to be applied. That is possible. This company in Ethiopia is demonstrating it. However, it also has to become general practice.”
Germany’s Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Mr. Hubertus Heil, mentioned, “We need fairness in the supply chains. To ensure this is also the responsibility of the German economy. There is the obligation to exercise diligence. It is important, that Germany’s economic vitality is not built on poverty and exploitation. Fair salaries and ecological standards are very important.”
We welcome all of you to come and also take a tour of our factory!