COVID -19 Response Plan:  ACEA Artisans Make First Online Sales with Improved Packaging  

In March 2020, the U.S. funded Collaborative Actions for Handicrafts Exports (ACEA) artisans were eagerly anticipating the opportunity to participate in the Handicraft Production Fair (Salon de la Création Artisanale). They were prepared to sell a wide range of Wiki Pam products featuring newly esigned attractive ackaging. Additionally, thanks to the training and coaching provided by ACEA, the artisans acquired the necessary set of business skills to sell their products at the fair. Some of the artisans just became eligible to participate for the first time, as holders of official Artisanal Cards gained though the ACEA project, in partnership with the Tunisian Agency for Professional Training (ATFP).

Unfortunately, the global pandemic hit, and the event was canceled. The cancellation represented a major setback for the project and the artisans who have been working relentlessly to prepare for the event.  In response, the U.S. Embassy and ACEA decided to help the artisans sell their products with the only market available during the lockdown: online sales.

ACEA partnered with e-commerce platform to exhibit the products of the artisans.  As a result of this strategic pivot, these rural artisans produced new sales to generate needed revenue, and effectively created an online brand that features a range of attractive new products. The first purchases were made a few minutes after the launch of the products on the platform!

New Improved Packaging:

One of the major challenges for ACEA beneficiaries was to find high quality and attractive packaging. Indeed, designing bottles for essential or vegetable oils requires costly marketing services, and printing labels in high quality can be difficult in rural regions.

To address this problem, ACEA launched a nationwide packaging competition called PAM PACK AWARDS in March 2019. The goal was to give every Tunisian designer a chance to create bottles, labels and boxes for the artisans’ products, with Wiki PAM branding. Designer Azza Dsouli won both first prizes, amazing the jury with her creations.  The young and promising  entrepreneur managed to imbue her designs with natural colors and authenticity, creating a very fresh and modern line.