Recently, nine members of Belazu went to Morocco. They were joined by Sonya Eastaugh, who is our Chair Designate at WJFG. They were incredibly busy, visiting our largest olive suppliers in Morocco and spending time with the local children at preschools that we support, via The Belazu Foundation. It was lovely to reconnect with a community so close to our hearts again since the pandemic began.
OUR VISIT to framaco
To kick things off, the team enjoyed a dinner of tagine, where they were joined by Jacques, our agent in Morocco, who was nostalgic about the first time he met George, the founder of Belazu, all those years ago, in Paris. Did you know that back then, Belazu was called the Fresh Olive Company?Early the next morning, the team visited Framaco, which is our largest olive supplier in Morocco, with whom we have worked together for over 25 years! They specialize in the production of our classic Beldi and Black Pitted Olives, which so many of you love!
Following the journey of the olives onto two production lines, our team learned how the olives were hand-sorted by the workers, and then by an infrared laser. All the olives were then destoned, and some were partially crushed. It is these olives that are used for our cracked Lemon, Basil, and Mint Olives. After this, the olives are stored in barrels, which are carefully turned, by hand, every day! It is the time and effort of these wonderful individuals that ensure our ingredients are of the highest quality for you to enjoy.
To reduce food waste, any waste olives are sent to be crushed for olive oil.
OUR VISIT TO THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS
After waving farewell to the team at Framaco, they drove up to the Atlas Mountains. The team was able to spend time with pre-schoolers at two schools that The Belazu Foundation has supported since 2003, through the Zakoura Foundation. We share a mutual goal with the foundation to make education accessible in rural areas in Morocco. The team was able to see the difference that we had been able to make in the community. To name a few, we have been fortunate enough to help them set up the schools, buy educational materials and parent sessions on important topics like hygiene and education. It highlighted why they love what we do here at Belazu.
First, the team visited thirty students at the preschool in Aourir. The villagers generously shared their traditional home-cooked breads and honey with our team. The team learned some basic Berber (traditional Moroccan) phrases so that they could get to know each other a little better.
Did you know that “Hello” in Berber is “Azul”?
Next, upon their arrival at Tidli, the team was surprised with a warm welcome of traditional music and dancing. The pre-schoolers proudly showed the team what they had been learning, singing songs in French and painting. Together, they all tucked into a traditional lunch of tagine that the village had generously prepared. The team loved how much the community made them feel at home!
To send off the trip, the team enjoyed a night of tasty food and dancing in Marrakesh. What a delight!