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Morocco is a country with a rich tradition of handicrafts. The diversity of its people and culture, whose roots go back millennia, enabled the development of a highly varied and qualitative range of handicrafts. Moroccan artisans specialise in more than 70 different crafts and produce products of tremendous creativity. Their craft is constantly developed to ensure that the needs of the population as well as the expectations of tourists are met. They equally produce projects for the purpose of exports to other countries. The craft occupies an important place in the national economy with a turnover of 16 billion MAD (2010) with an average annual growth rate of 14% and the employment of 371000 people.
However, a highly fragmented tissue consisting of a wide variety of geographically dispersed actors and a predominance of part-time and informal work characterizes the Moroccan craft industry. It also suffers from a lack of organization and poor institutional representation, resulting in deteriorating social conditions of the craftsmen.
In this context, the Moroccan Ministry of Handicrafts has established a strategic development programme through the "Vision 2015" with the objective of promoting the economic development of the handicraft sector (moving from 10.7 billion MAD turnover to MAD 24 billion, an increase of exports from 0.7 billion to 7 billion MAD) while creating 115 000 new jobs. Vision 2015 is also based on a large-scale policy of promoting the establishment of a reputation of excellence for Moroccan handicrafts in the targeted markets and introducing handicrafts in modern distribution networks.
In addition to its socio-economic objectives, the Vision 2015 emphasizes the strong impact that labelling can have on the preservation and improvement of artisanal products and the sustainable penetration of target markets. The label will provide the consumer with a practical identification tool and for the craftsmen a tool to position themselves on the market.
For this purpose, the Ministry of Handicraft launched a mission to create a national Moroccan handicraft label within the framework of cooperation with the U.S Millenium Challenge Corporation. A consortium led by sba Agency 2d.DAMA and DVP Productions was commissioned to implement the label and promote it at the national and international level.
The national Moroccan handicrafts label has several objectives including:
The national label will be based on two different groups of criteria: environmental and social criteria, which promote sustainable socio-economic development within the Moroccan handicraft sector. The values are, among others:
The draft National Label will pass through 4 phases, which are described below.
The establishment and promotion of a national Moroccan handicraft label will have a significant and positive medium and long term influence across the sector.
This will mean, amongst other things, a boosting of the sector, the emergence of reference players, the creation of a marker of differentiation of Moroccan handicraft and the growth of the Moroccan handicraft industry. In effect this will lead to an improvement of the living and working conditions of the craftsmen.
The national label will also convey an image of quality and creativity, which is unique in the world and a brand image will be created, which will lead to better financial, social and environmental conditions. For Moroccan handicrafts it is about aiming for excellence.
The project was launched in May 2012 and has been achieved at the end of 2013.