The New Generation of the Shea Industry in Burkina Faso
The production of shea butter involves nearly three million people in Burkina Faso involved in picking, preparation, and processing. This production is essentially conducted by women’s groups and makes a significant contribution to rural livelihoods. However, the process currently still involves outdated methods (for example, open fires using wood from the shea trees to boil the Shea nuts and manual grinding of the nuts into a powder), resulting in increased deforestation (17.5% loss in Burkina Faso’s forest cover between 1990 and 2010), significant carbon emissions, various health and hygiene risks, and a limited socio-economic benefit.
The Eco-Processing Centres provide sanitation and storage facilities in order to improve hygiene and reduce water-borne diseases, and also significantly benefit the women’s respiratory health by displacing the need for open fires. Health and safety of our women shea entrepreneurs is of paramount importance.
Year Round Activity for Women
Our consortium partners are Karikis Womens Association and they hard-working types! They are fundamental in designing a place to call their own – our collaborative community Eco-Processing Centres. These are the heart of the surrounding villages and a hive of activity. Training, employment, processing, cold-pressing, clean dry storage, packing and exporting of shea and other indigenous products are just some of the activities taking place. This benefits year round activity for 24,000 women in Burkina Faso as opposed to the current seasonal work.
Our Eco-Processing Centers keep primary processing in Burkina Faso providing skills, jobs, regular income and profit for women.
Agro-Processing Infrastructure for Rural and Urban Women
The principal activity is the clean, primary processing of shea butter but the centers are equipped with mechanical machinery that suits other indigenous crop processing, such as drying morninga leaves using solar dryers, grinding baobab seeds into powder, and cold pressing pure neem oil. All of these activities enable women to diversify their skills and provide year round income.
The network of national Eco-Processing Centres enables expanding access and work to women in rural areas, as well as those in urban places.
Training & Development for the Long Term
Our nationwide Eco-Processing Centres facilitate the mobilisation of women into new roles in primary processing. The women are trained, developed and guided by women with leadership skills and knowledge, learning about increasing quality, quantity, and profit share. The centres are run by women for women, providing an end-to-end long lasting, reliable and transparent solution for your sustainable sourcing programme.
Shared Knowledge – Power to Women
Beautiful Shea, made using age-old craftsmanship; techniques handed down from generation to generation, indigious know-how, now aided by modern mechanisation for safety, increased output and consistent quality and cleanliness. We enable women in the Burkina shea belt communities to manage, process, and earn more, not just selling shea kernels/nuts, but the finished product.
Profit Share & FairTrade
Our Eco-Processing Centres are being created for the women of Burkina Faso through which they will benefit in 3 key ways:
- As members of the National Union of Shea Producers, the women’s groups will hold equity in the overall business
- They will be part of a profit sharing scheme
- The women will receive Fairtrade prices for the shea nut’s collected and their shea butter, while achieving much improved access-to-market.
Access to Other Indiginous Ingredients for Your Beauty & Superfood products
Our Eco-Processing Centers are run by innovative women driven by the seasonality and availability of valuable wild-harvested produce from the natural Savannah parklands and from their own smallholdings. Shea, Baobab, Neem, Moringa, Balanites or Desert Date, for the wild-harvested crops, and often sesame and tigernut from their smallholdings are all available to you.