Shea Engagement: Our Partnership with the Women of Burkina Faso | L’Occitane
At the start of the 1980s, L’OCCITANE formed a partnership with the women of Burkina Faso for the production of shea butter. Today more than 10,000 of them work with L’Occitane. The shea tree is a wild tree. You can’t plant it and it cannot be cut. We harvest it only where it grows in protected areas. In January, the first buds appear. In March, the first flowers bloom. The shea fruit is gathered between mid-June and mid-September to produce shea butter. L’OCCITANE’s work with these women carries out on a co-development principle Several hundred tons of shea butter are purchased by L’OCCITANE every year. Here we protect those trees and flowers, we take care of the harvest and the entire process. Aouba Maimou, Manager of the Nununa Federation, partner of L’OCCITANE L’Occitane helped us build the facilities and accompanies us in the development. Our method is derived from the churning and it is the traditional method of production. We were inspired by the instruments used in this method to mechanize the work. We pass the old recipes from mothers to daughters. Earning a regular income allows us to earn respect from our own families and gives us the right to express ourselves in our community. Barkissa Bassia, Head of Soap Production at Nununa When L’Occitane took its first order with us our life has changed. We can pay school fees for our children, we can take care of our health, we are real fighters.