Meeting Your Consumer’s Demands for Renewable & Sustainable Ingredients
We are collaborating with the Burkino Faso Government and working towards taking the shea butter industry forward to the next generation of production and towards cleaner and renewable production methods. The current methods of producing shea butter unfortunately involves significant wood consumption, approximately 10kg of wood per kg of finished shea butter.
To put this into context 3 million people in Burkina Faso are involved in the processing of shea butter from picking through to processing or boiling of the kernels. All of this wood collection to boil water and boil the shea kernels has serious repercussions on agricultural productivity, biodiversity, climate change and the local people’s respiratory health.
Our 5 Step Approach to Deliver Real Climate Impact:
1. Decarbonising the Value Chain – Switching to Renewables
Three quarters of the shea butter lifecycle GHG emissions arise from post-harvest processing, through the burning of wood as the main energy source mainly used to heat water. Our 100% renewables approach, halts the need for firewood, and replaces with clean renewable energy including Solar Pv, and Biogas from biodigesters (using organic matter from de-husking etc).
2. Preserving Biodiversity – Save the Shea Tree!
Creating awareness on the role of the Shea tree in the overall ecosystem is a key objective of the Burkina Shea Project. Shea is an endangered species protected by CITES and the national forest code. However, it continues to be exploited for firewood, and for the production of charcoal, and it’s habitat is also under pressure from the encroachment of fast-growing human population. We work with communities to increase awareness, through socially inclusive agroforestry practices.
3. Major Reforestation
Burkina Faso has seen a decrease of 17.5% of total forest over a 20 year period. This cannot continue. The Shea tree has both a significant socio-economic importance and essential ecological and environmental role.
We are helping to secure the future of the Savannah region’s shea parklands – each Eco-Processing Centre’s plant nursery will grow and plant new shea saplings, enhancing forest carbon stocks and aiding in soil conservation.
Serious Shea is dedicated to the protection and future of Africa’s shea parklands whilst supporting local agriculture and developing new agroforestry practices which protect and develop the shea tree stock for future generations.
4.Producing Certified GHG reductions – Qualifying for Carbon Credits
We have developed a 4-step solution to transition the primary processing of shea butter away from reliance on on-renewable biomass and create certified emission reductions:
- Large scale afforestation and reforestation
- GHG emission baseline savings by stopping burning wood
- Using shea nut cake as an additional biomass input
- Solar PV
5. Stimulating Rural Electrification & Economic Development
Electrifying each Eco-Processing Center using off-grid, solar power, enables not only the continuous clean processing of shea, but also makes excess power available to be distributed to the local community, providing power for street lighting, irrigation pumps, refrigeration and creating jobs.
Shea Butter vs Palm Oil
Here are some reasons why the Palm Oil Industry is surrounded in controversy today:
In the transition from primary forest to plantation, only 15% of native animal species are reported to survive (species such as orangutans, tigers, rhinoceros, and elephants are vulnerable).
Emissions associated with palm cultivation in Indonesia alone was equivalent to 216-268 million tonnes on average between 2001 and 2010.
Palm production often involves burning of peatlands. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, more than 100,000 deaths each year in SE Asia can be attributed to particulate matter exposure from extensive fires, many of which are peat fires.
Although the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has brought together producers, NGOs and other stakeholders to improve the sustainability of palm oil production. The initial standards did not protect secondary, disturbed, or regenerating forests; peatlands are only partially protected. The revised guidelines (RSPO Next) attempts to deal with these challenges but is only voluntary.
Responsible Purchasing Power and the Conscious Consumer
Serious Shea’s nationwide programme in Burkina Faso, addresses the full circle of economic, environmental, carbon, climate, forestation and community needs – all of which today’s growing conscious consumer is demanding in their everyday purchases.