Ambatovy Local Business Initiative (ALBI)
The Ambatovy Local Business Initiative (ALBI) provides support to local businesses and entrepreneurs through training, mentoring, and capacity building programs. Ambatovy expects that, thanks to the work of ALBI, these national and local SMEs will be better able to improve the quality and competitiveness of their products.
ALBI was created to fulfill Ambatovy’s “buy locally, hire locally” policy. To this end, ALBI works closely with Purchasing, Supply, and Contracts Services to identify local companies capable of responding to company and market needs. By maximizing local procurement, Ambatovy provides a much-needed impetus to the Malagasy economy and entrepreneurs.
To improve the competitiveness and capacity of local enterprises, ALBI has implemented a variety of initiatives:
- The Ambatovy Supplier Audit Program: Ambatovy created a program that audits suppliers to ensure they fulfill the necessary legal, organizational and performance requirements under Ambatovy’s procurement policy. The audit is an important tool to ensure that suppliers provide a legitimate working environment for their employees
- ALBI Supplier Database: once a local company has met Ambatovy’s established legal, tax, and regulatory requirements to become a supplier, they are added to Tafita, a database of pre-approved potential suppliers available for contracts. Only suppliers approved in Tafita are able to participate when Ambatovy launches a bidding process.
Sourcing from and offering technical support to local enterprises has resulted in local businesses supplying a range of goods, such as employee uniforms, cafeteria produce, and pallets for product transportation.
As of the end of 2018, 4,820 potential vendors were vetted and registered in our database, and, during the year, more than 450 local suppliers provided Ambatovy with goods and services across 40 sectors of business including construction, transportation, cleaning and catering services.
The exact number of jobs created to indirectly support Ambatovy’s procurement needs is difficult to calculate – however, we know that almost 500 jobs were created to build wood pallets, produce uniforms, and recycle plastic, tires and wood.
Ambatovy has fast become one of the largest consumers of goods and services in Madagascar. By maximizing local procurement, Ambatovy provides a much-needed boost to the Malagasy economy and local entrepreneurs. Ambatovy spent more than $219 million on local purchases in 2019, and more than $2.5 billion since the start of our operations in 2012.
Ambatovy is always looking for ways to engage the local community and increase the return to the local economy, and works closely with local suppliers to identify opportunities to produce locally sourced materials needed for our operations. Some of these efforts include:
- Manufacturing of uniforms: we supported the administrative and technical development of a local sewing company in Toamasina. This shop now has 32 permanent staff and provides around 7,000 uniforms a year to Ambatovy. The company has also provided more than 40,000 fabric masks to support our COVID-19 health measures at site.
- Packaging: to satisfy our need of 80,000 metal drums per year once we reach full capacity, ALBI identified and selected two local companies to manufacture metal drums and their liners.
- Pallet Production: Ambatovy uses methods consistent with eco-certification standards to harvest the wood required for the manufacturing of 50,000 pallets per year, the amount necessary to transport Ambatovy’s refined nickel and cobalt. Two local suppliers in Moramanga and Toamasina, who are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, work with Ambatovy for this production. The pallets are fabricated in Toamasina and used for Ambatovy’s product shipments. 110 permanent jobs have been created by this initiative. In addition to creating stable employment, this approach has other advantages including improved environmental management, efficient use of natural resources, and promotion of sustainable forestry stewardship. Since 2017, in order to ensure the responsible management of used materials, Ambatovy has provided the federation of the village associations FIMIAM with used timbers (including wooden crates, pallets, etc.) from its Mine.
- Raincoats: Ambatovy supported the development of a local provider to create our fireproof and waterproof raincoats.
- Recycling: In an effort to reduce our environmental footprint while providing income to local communities and savings for Ambatovy, Ambatovy has supported the technical and administrative development of companies that are now recycling our waste woods, industrial and cooking oils, and plastic waste.
- Fruits and vegetables: We purchase local produce directly through bulk purchasing centers that work directly with local farmers to procure fruits and vegetables. Every year, this equals around 1.5 tonnes of produce provided by the nearly 3,000 local farmers collaborating with these purchasing centers in Toamasina and Moramanga.
Ambatovy sources from four bulk-purchasing centers located in Toamasina and Moramanga for its supply of fresh locally-grown foods. These centers buy agricultural produce (fruits, vegetables, and dried goods) from local farmers and resell it to large customers, such as Ambatovy. In 2019, an estimated 3,000 local farmers supplied the four centers with approximately 1,700 tonnes of fruits and vegetables.
Numerous local poultry producers also supply these purchasing centers with chickens and eggs for Ambatovy’s needs. 223,000 kilos of chicken and nearly 1.5 million eggs were delivered in 2019.