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A women's Business

For millennia, people in West Africa have used shea butter for its moisturizing and nourishing properties for skin and hair. Over the centuries, shea butter has become a key ingredient in traditional cosmetics and personal care. It has been used to make ointments, balms, and lotions for skin and hair.

In the 20th century, shea butter began to be exported to Europe and America, where it became very popular as a cosmetic ingredient in moisturizers, sunscreen lotions, lip balms, and body butters. Shea butter production is traditionally managed by women, who harvest the nuts and transform them into butter. This trade allows them not only to meet their economic needs, but also to gain independence and self-confidence.

Some international brands source directly (without intermediaries) from producer communities from whom they buy a processed product. Thanks to the multi-year contracts put in place by L'Occitane, which facilitate 80% pre-financing and the guarantee of a fair purchase price which can be re-evaluated annually, several tens of thousands of Ghanaian and Burkinabe women benefit from an economic path to empowerment.

A true biodiversity catalyst, shea butter, also known as the tree of life, helps to maintain and strengthen greenbelt areas in West Africa, and keep the desert at bay. It prevents soil erosion by regulating and retaining water, fertilizes the soil, sequesters carbon, and feeds birds, bees, and especially elephants, which feast on the fruits, thus transporting the seeds for miles around, thanks to their dung. Despite this, the decline in rainfall, deforestation, and especially human activity (illegal logging for firewood and charcoal production) makes the shea tree a threatened species.

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Dégustation d'un plat traditionel ghanéen au beurre de karité, un délice!

Franck enjoys a Ghanaian dish made with shea butter and he loves its!

GEO France - Shea Butter in Ghana

Publication GEO (Feb 2024)

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