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ACOS (PEDON GROUP) improves and values the production of pulses in Ethiopia

7. Community involvement

Skills and technology transfer


The family group Pedon, founded in 1964 in Italy, is a European well-established family company for the processing, the packaging and the distribution of vegetables and dry cereal, realizing 70 % of its sales in Italy and 30 % in 25 countries of the world.
 Within the framework of its development policy as closely as possible to the producers, the industrial processing division of the group, the ACOS company (Agricultural Commodity Supplies) create in 2005 a factory in Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries of the world.


  •     Organize and modernize the Ethiopian farming sector
  •     Create a new market from Ethiopian cereal
  •     Create a processing factory as closely as possible to the local producers


In 2013 agriculture in Ethiopia is still reliant on smallholder, rain-fed farming systems providing 45% of Ethiopia’s GDP and 85% employment. But in 2005 there were no bean seed companies based in Ethiopia, mainly smallholders at the time, and farmers continued to plant low quality seed.

Acos has been present in Ethiopia since 2005, when they first made contact with the Ethiopian Government about setting up a production plant near Addis Ababa, the country’s capital. Since October 2006 Acos Ethiopia has been running at full capacity. It is a modern plant which covers a surface area of over 3,000 m². .It has modern machinery for legume processing, a high-tech optical selector, conveyor belts for hand picking and 6 steel silos equipped with external stairways.
Through an agreement with the Agricultural Research Centre (EIAR), research was carried out aiming at studying the varieties of pulses best adapted to the Ethiopian pedo-climatic environment, leading to the definition of the best agronomic techniques. The institute also worked on the improvement of varieties and the preservation of seed purity.
 As to be transparent and fair towards their suppliers’ market and to train the farmers to good agricultural practices, Acos established long-term links to various NGOs. Mainly SFL (Sustainable Food Laboratory) and CRS (Catholic Relief Services), which had a strong presence in Ethiopia, but also Save the children, Oxfam and more recently IFRI (International Food research Institute).
 They all worked hand in hand to write training materials and disseminate them to farmers’ cooperatives.
To top off this cooperation, Acos is also committed in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility, and has undertaken to promote, along the entire production chain, respect for people, the prevention of discrimination of any kind, safety in the workplace, and protection and social development of the communities involved. Acos has also established a Primary School near to the plant.


  •     Control over supply of volumes and quality levels
  •     New trade markets coming from the Ethiopian pulses production
  •     30,000Mt  of the cereals are sold by Acos on 50 000Mt exported by the country


  •     modernization of the  Ethiopian agricultural sector: work possibilities for producers
  •     100% absence of genetically modified organisms (GMO's) in the products supplied.
  •     350 employees creating income for 15.000 families
  •     School completely free of charge for 250 children
  •     Inclusive model effective against poverty. Initiative supported by Bill Gates. New project scheduled in Uganda
600 (2015)
90M € (2015)


Via del Progresso, 32
36060 Molvena


Katia Sambin

Mise à jour le 24/05/2016

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