Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Why is ADES active in Madagascar?

Madagascar is one of the least developed countries in the world. As an island, it has suffered particularly from the consequences of climate change (such as the rising sea level and the increasing frequency of cyclones and hurricanes). Every year, about 120,000 hectares of forest in Madagascar is destroyed. The main reasons for this include deforestation for agricultural land and the need for wood for cooking. This is leading to advancing deforestation. This is why ADES is working to preserve the woodlands there as they also play an important role in the regulation of worldwide CO2 emissions.

How does ADES see sustainability?

ADES fosters the United Nations’ sustainable development targets through its solar- and energy-saving cookers which contribute directly to the island's GDP and to its sustainable industrialisation. ADES also facilitates the sharing of knowledge and technological know-how and improves training, education and skills in order to mitigate the effects of climate change. The aim is for income generated in Madagascar to remain there and benefit the local population. ADES’ purpose is to be an integral part and a firm supporter of Madagascar’s development.

What are ADES’ values?

Sustainable community involvement in one of the least developed countries in the world requires strong values as well as a clear vision. The success of the ADES project depends on our conviction about our product, our drive to innovate, our trust in local potential, sound management, social responsibility and of course transparency towards all stakeholders. ADES feels a particularly heavy responsibility to succeed as the Madagascar government does not provide enough support for investments in sustainable development. Wherever we go, we join forces with other charities, institutions and donors. Our work is guided foremost by the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact.

Why does ADES produce the cookers industrially?

ADES firmly believes, and has evidence proving, that industrial production of cookers is more successful in strengthening the local economy for the long term than individual projects and ‘backyard’ production. The highest priority for ADES is ensuring high quality and therefore longevity in the interests of end users. Through its regional production and distribution centres, ADES makes sure its processes and products are constantly improved in order to guarantee high quality while increasing output using sustainable production methods.

How does ADES set the prices of its products?

The prices of our energy-efficient cookers are high enough to give its buyers minimum ownership and low enough to be affordable. The prices must also reflect the quality of the products. Industrially produced cookers are per se more expensive than informally produced ones as they are higher quality. The social principles applied by ADES also have an influence on the price as we take into account the lack of job security in Madagascar. In a country with such a poverty index, quality cookers can only be offered at a discount or they would not sell.

Why does ADES not leave the production to be run entirely locally?

Having its production and distribution structure for its energy-saving cookers in Madagascar and being an integral part of the island's industrial landscape, ADES has been shaped and is strongly supported by local workers. As it was founded and developed as a non-profit organisation and NGO in Switzerland, ADES has an obligation to guarantee that the spending of its funds – most of which are raised in Switzerland – is justified and highly transparent. This can only be done by having its domicile in Switzerland.

The social structure in Madagascar is very much tribal and family-centred. Because of the fragile government in Madagascar, as well as a lack of rule of law, widespread corruption and cronyism, ADES has an international management team locally but retains its organisational base in Switzerland, and this will continue for the foreseeable future.

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