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ECONOMY > ALGERIA

A passport for exports n Workers and technicians at work on the drinks

production line at NCA

www.enpi-info.eu Creating and developing small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is a major economic challenge for the Algerian authorities. The process needs to be accompanied by mechanisms that help boost the capacities of SMEs and improve their competitiveness. This is very much the aim of the support programme co-financed by the European Union and Algeria. A journalist from the European Neighbourhood Info Centre paid a visit to two companies that have benefited from actions under the programme, and that have improved both in terms of quality and level of compliance with good manufacturing practices. This is his report. Text by: Tarik Hafid Photos by: AFP © EU / Neighbourhood Info Centre ALGIERS – Algeria has put in place a number of programmes that aim to create a network of high performing and competitive small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Initiated and co-financed by the European Union, the PME (SME) II programme is based on three key elements: direct aid to companies, support for quality and institutional support. The Director of the programme, Mr Abdeldjalil Kassoussi, sees the need for an overall approach that factors in the expectations of companies and of public and private support structures. “PME II has come into play in 162 companies through carrying out diagnostics and in-depth upgrade work especially in terms of industrial organisation, quality and information systems. Around sixty additional companies have benefited from training and action organised in partnership This publication does with several professional associations.” not represent the official view of the EC Certification for food safety or the EU institutions. EU Neighbourhood Info Centre With its 500 employees, the Nouvelle Conserverie Algérienne (NCA) The EC accepts no Feature no. 120 is among the companies in the food-processing sector that has responsibility or This is a series of features on projects benefited from the PME II programme. “NCA is no longer the small liability whatsoever funded by the EU, prepared by family business that it was when it was created in 1966. Today it is a with regard to its journalists and photographers on the content. leading industrial group in the drinks sector and has developed ground or the EU Neighbourhood considerably. In the short term, NCA’s aim is to reach out to foreign Info Centre. markets, particularly in North African countries,” explains Mr Sahbi © 2014 EU/Neighbourhood Info Centre Othmani, NCA Director General.


A passport for exports

p.2

EU Neighbourhood Info Centre – Feature no. 120

“PME II has come into play in 162 companies through carrying out diagnostics and in-depth upgrade work especially in terms of industrial organisation, quality and information systems”

n Sahbi Othmani, Director General

of NCA

n Nadia Ferhat, Director of Audit and

Supervision at NCA

n Adel Merzekani, Director of

Industrial Operations at Pharmalliance

To reach this objective, the group has made a commitment to apply the ISO 22000 certification, a standard that ensures the company has better collective organisation of food safety. “In the food processing sector, ISO 22000 is considered to be a passport for exports. Armed with this certification, companies can place products with the big retailers,” says Ms Nadia Ferhat, Director of the Audit and Supervision Department. The mission leading to the certification ran from September 2011 to May 2012. The programme was in three phases. The first consisted in staff training, n Employees in a laboratory at Pharmalliance, a company specialising in the production of generic medicines with thirteen employees attending sessions on the ISO 22000 standard and 96 employees attending sessions on good hygiene practices. Eight internal auditors were “In the food also trained in other sessions. “The second phase enabled NCA to get help in putting in place a processing Food Safety Management System approach,” notes Ms Ferhat. Audit missions confirmed that the sector, implementation of the ISO 22000 standard was successfully achieved. However, these audits have also revealed some shortcomings in the management of the company’s laboratory. “Actions were ISO 22000 is undertaken in the context of the PME II programme to put the laboratory in line with the ISO considered to be a passport 17025 standard. This was clearly something new that the company gained,” adds Ms Ferhat. From 14 to 40 million boxes per year In a sector as sensitive as the production of pharmaceuticals, quality remains a major concern. Pharmalliance specialises in the production of generic medicines and is one of the ten top local pharmacy operators. “Our facilities allow us to make up to 50 million boxes per year in dry, liquid and viscous forms,” says Mr Adel Merzekani, the Director of Industrial Operations. “Our main objective was to increase our level of production with a high quality approach whilst ensuring profitability,” he adds. For Pharmalliance, the solution to this equation was achieved by carrying out a plan to upgrade management by meeting European manufacturing good practices standards. This process was achieved thanks to PME II. “At the outset, the audit showed that our production site was 32% compliant with the European manufacturing good practices standards,” explains Mr Merzekani. Actions were taken to reduce the cost of the non-compliance of products and supervisory operations, to set up a quick and efficient complaint processing system as well as the establishment of a risk assessment process that made it possible to improve the risk assessment processes for products and facilities. Staff training and the purchase of production equipment were important aspects of this programme, which was estimated to cost six million euros. And the results are there for everyone to see. “Our production went from 14 million boxes per year in October 2010 to 40 million boxes per year in March 2013 when the programme was finalised. On that date, the level of compliance had reached 88% of the European manufacturing good practices standards,” says the Director of Industrial Operations. “So the aim of having an operational and efficient production site has been achieved,” he says happily. Towards support for industrial development So the PME II programme has allowed

n

NCA is a leading industrial group in the drinks sector today

for exports. Armed with this certification, companies can place products with the big retailers”


A passport for exports

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EU Neighbourhood Info Centre – Feature no. 120

“Our production went from 14 million boxes per year in October 2010 to 40 million boxes per year in March 2013 when the programme was finalised”

n

Pharmalliance is one of the ten top local pharmacy operators

n

Actions have been taken to reduce the cost of non-conformity of products and supervision operations

Algerian companies to achieve concrete objectives. As this project has ended, would it not make sense to head towards a new phase? In Mr Abdeldjalil Kassoussi’s view, a programme to help the deployment of a national policy to give industry a boost is now “a priority for our country’s economy”. “I wouldn’t call it PME III but rather PADI (Programme d’Appui au Développement Industriel or Support Programme for Industrial Development in English),” he says. “The objective of this new programme should be to contribute to structuring Algeria’s private industrial sector by strengthening the network of community associations, creating a programme of industrial technical centres and by boosting national industrial engineering skills.”

Programme of support for SMEs http://www.algerie-pme2.dz/ Set up by Algeria and the European Union in 2009, the Programme d’Appui aux PME/PMI et à la Maîtrise des Technologies d’Information et de Communication (PME II or Support Programme for SMEs for Mastering Information and Communications Technologies) aims to contribute to the modernisation and development of the Algerian SME sector. Acting under the administrative supervision of the Ministry for Industrial Development and Investment Promotion, PME II is equipped with a budget of 44 million euro allocated to funding advisory and training activities and studies on upgrading SMEs, improving levels of quality of SMEs and their institutional development. For more information European Union Delegation in Algeria http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/algeria/index_fr.htm EU Neighbourhood Info Centre: Algeria http://www.enpi-info.eu/countrymed.php?country=1&lang_id=450 EU Neighbourhood Info Centre page - Theme: Economy http://www.enpi-info.eu/thememed.php?subject=4&lang_id=450

EU Neighbourhood Info Centre An ENPI project The EU Neighbourhood Info Centre is an EU-funded Regional Information and Communication project highlighting the partnership between the EU and Neighbouring countries. The project is managed by Action Global Communications.

www.enpi-info.eu


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