The Women Behind the Shea Butter Industry
Around the globe, there are roughly 16 million African women devoted to the shea nut harvest. Their cause? Fair trade. On an extraordinary Monday in the heart of New York City, these women—many taking their first-ever steps outside Africa—voiced their case to international corporations.
Traditional Shea Butter Extraction in West Africa
Back in West Africa's rural communities, these women expertly transform shea nuts into shea butter. This process creates a creamy, yellowish-white vegetable fat that’s used locally for cooking and skincare. But its use doesn't stop there—it's also the star ingredient in global products in skincare items.
Fair Trade Advocacy and Shea's Potential
These women, the heart and soul of the shea butter industry, brought a critical message to New York City. They’re fighting for fair trade, advocating for just compensation from corporate buyers, and pushing for shea's inclusion in a broader range of food items. Antoine Turpin, a representative from IOI Loders Croklaan—a leading supplier of edible oils—emphasized the significance of shea as a source of income for millions of African families. He believes that empowering these women is key to sustaining the shea industry.
Global Shea Alliance: Promoting Ethical Shea Trade
The meeting was organized by the Global Shea Alliance—an independent body established by the United States Agency for International Development in 2011. Their aim? To ensure fair pricing and high-quality products in the shea trade. Mark Davis, the community fair trade director at the Body Shop, strongly supports this cause, emphasizing the crucial role of the Alliance in building a sustainable shea sector.
Shea Exports: Boosting Local Economies
The annual shea exports from West Africa are valued between $90 and $200 million, boosting local economies significantly. Shea trees, scattered across a vast savannah area from Senegal to South Sudan, provide these valuable nuts. They not only enhance local economies and our skincare products but also add that special touch to our food. And it all begins with the women who tirelessly pick them. Their push for fair trade is a cause we can all stand behind.
&Better Shea Butter: Supporting Local Ghanaian Women
At &Better, we are on a mission. We source the finest handcrafted shea butter straight from Ghana. Our commitment? To give you top-quality shea butter and to ensure fair pay for the local women behind it.
Superb Shea Butter for Stellar Products
Our shampoo bars are a class apart. Why? They pack a punch with up to 25% shea butter oil. That's five times more than many other brands! More shea butter means a thicker lather, a bar that lasts longer, and more nourishment for your hair. When you choose &Better, you're not just getting top-tier shea butter. You're also backing a fantastic cause.
Rewarding the Women Behind Our Shea Butter
We're all about giving credit where it's due. The women who craft our shea butter put in hard work. We show our gratitude by paying them double the market rate. It's about fair pay for fair work. It allows them to better their lives and their communities.
So, why choose &Better? For the best handcrafted Ghanaian shea butter. For a product that supports and empowers local women. Find out more about &Better shea butter in our blog.
(News Source: New York Times)