Oxfam Launches Worker-Owned Factory in Armenia

YEREVAN—On Friday, the northern Armenian town of Ayrum celebrated the opening of a brand new, 1200 square meter fruit processing plant. With the support of Oxfam in Armenia, the factory is providing thousands of local producers not only with much-needed income, but a sense of solidarity and empowerment.

“For the first time ever, we are instituting a social enterprise business that will create jobs and address challenges facing our remote border communities,” said Oxfam in Armenia Country Director Margarita Hakobyan. “In addition to fighting poverty through this enterprise, we hope to put forward a practical model that can be duplicated throughout the country.”

During the Soviet years, Ayrum was famous for its canned food factory, which employed over 1800 workers and supplied countless cities with quality jams and preserves. But production at the factory stopped after the collapse of the Soviet Union, taking with it the region’s economic lifeline.

Local residents essentially had two options left: either look for work abroad or sell seasonal crops along the roadside.

Read the full article at Asbarez Armenian News


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