Burkina Faso, West Africa - beurre de karite- shea butter
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About Empower Village
Empower Village distributes pure, unrefined Shea butter, a product made from nuts harvested from karite trees in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Our Shea nuts are harvested, processed, transported, and manufactured into Shea butter by women for who traditional techniques handed down through generations. The trees and nuts are organically grown, and processed to retain the unrefined purity of our Shea butter.
Empower Village's mission is to promote the healthy benefits of natural, handmade Shea butter from Burkina Faso, as well as provide a fair income to the women who labor to produce it.
Our goals are to:
- Empower women and villages in Burkina Faso
- Support the tradition of Shea nut harvesting, processing and manufacturing into Shea butter
- Supply Shea butter worldwide
The project gathers 300 women from two, groups. One group regroup women from five villages and another group regroup city women. Indirectly, it is whole population of 38,637 inhabitants who are affected by the project: Some as consumers and others as suppliers of raw material (Shea nuts). It should note that the income from his activity contributes to the development of the local economy. This activity represents a source of income which makes up more than 75% of the women annual income. Which help them meet the basic needs of their children (food, heath care, school fees …)
The women of Burkina Faso are our experts. They are organized into cooperatives and provide all labor in creating pure, unrefined Shea butter. Fair trade values are of the utmost importance to Empower Village, and thus we pay in excess of fair wages, empowering these women, while we continually seek ways to help empower their villages. In addition, Empower Village is a supporter/contributor to restoring the environment by protecting it and planting trees. Empower Village will put 10% of our revenue to this effort a year to help preserve biodiversity in Burkina Faso by marketing a non-timber forest product and conserving a vital resource: Shea trees.
The villages of Burkina Faso are in dire need of financial security. Natural resources like Shea butter may provide this poor African country with financial security. Burkina Faso's annual Shea nut output may be around 850,000 tones (the highest worldwide), but only about 50,000 tones are currently harvested. Co-operative distribution like ours provides the women with quality control training, advance pay, and financial security during production. Until Shea butter gained popularity, most exported Shea products went to chocolate production. That market may expand due to a European Union decision to allow up to 5% non-cocoa vegetable fats in chocolate; for which Shea butter is preferred as it complements cocoa very well. As well, the international cosmetic, medicinal and other industries are quickly gaining interest in Shea butter, and new local markets are opening in Africa. Burkina Faso is landlocked by Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana and the Ivory Coast.