butter is a natural herbal extract. It is known for its effective skin
care and its rich content of stearic, oleic acids and natural vitamin
E. Shea butter is reputable for its:
- High moisturizing properties which protect the skin from dryness
- Versatility in home use in food and direct skin application;
- use in the cosmetic industry to make premium creams, lotions, bath
soaps and skin care products;
- Use in the manufacture of margarine and especially in the manufacture
of chocolates and confectionery as it is an excellent substitue for
Shea butter is vastly used by:
- Premium Cosmetic manufactures in making bath soaps, shampoos, hair
conditioners, bath oils, massage products, body creams and lotions,
lip balm and skin products;
- Cosmetic and food ingredient distributors;
- Pharmaceutical laboratories in making pharmaceutical products;
Making Shea butter
nut is a trading commodity and typically, women dominate the trade.
Making traditional shea butter is labour intensive. Women toil for long
hours in the wild in harsh weather, braving rainstorms and temperatures
as high as 45 degrees F to pick Shea nuts. The nuts are shelled, dried,
stored over several months. Traditional Shea butter is extracted from
Shea nuts and typically involves the following stages:
- Shea nuts are contained in pods or shells;
- Shells or pods cracked open by hand thus releasing nuts or kernels;
- Nuts are dried to remove moisture;
- Dried nuts are crushed and roasted;
- Roasted nuts are ground to paste to facilitate oil extraction;
- Nut paste with gradual adding of warm water is kneaded vigorously
by hand until oil in coagulated form separate from the water;
- Released oil in coagulated form is whisked out. Water containing
nut sediments is discarded;
- Coagulated Shea butter containing traces of nut paste is placed
to steam kettles or boiling pots;
- Shea oil is skimmed and stored to solidify into Shea butter.
Natural unrefined wholesome sheabutter
Shea Butter is produced from shea nuts obtained from
the Shea nut tree. These trees grow in the nature/wild and are not cultivated.
In fact most of the terrain on which shea trees grow has never been
developed. As a result, no applied chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers,
toxic or harzardous substances come in contact with thes trees. And
therefore not part of the production of the production function.
Supporting the use of non-forest products, that is,
Shea butter, contributes in the conservation of africa's wooded area,
wild life, ecosystem and overall environment protection. Our locally
made Shea butter is truly natural, wholesome and free of man made applied
By tradition, no individual can own a Shea nut tree
even if the tree is on the individual's property. It is a taboo. It
is forbidden to cut or cause damage to a sheanut tree. The tree belongs
to all. The Shea tree is perceived to be the lifeline of the people.
Shea butter, milled from the Shea nut, is used for cooking, for cosmetic
purposes - body lotions, soapmaking, hair products; for medicinal use
to address skin conditions, etc.
The people of Northern Ghana live in symbiotic relationship
or in harmony with the Shea tree in nature. There is very little room
for environmental abuse. The Shea tree and Shea butter is viewed by
the natives to be their lifeline.
Making it count - New opportunities for Ghana's
traditional Shea Butter Producers
the towns and villages around Tamale in northern Ghana, the way of life
is subsistence farming. To boost their meagre incomes, women traditionally
engage in a number of activities including making and selling Shea butter.
Like cash crop farming, income from the Shea butter business is hardly
enough to keep the women who are involved in it above subsistence lines.
But in this semi-arid part of northern Ghana, Shea butter production
occurs year round and as such provides significant support for the community.
Without the income, meager as it is, life would be much worse.
Shea butter is edible organic oil extracted from Shea
nuts of the Shea nut tree which grows in the natural habitat and is
uncultivated. Shea butter is used in pharmaceuticals and mainly in food
preparations, margarine, chocolate and often, in making premium beauty
products. The long held secret of what makes women look eternally young
points to none other than the mystical «Shea butter».
The Shea nut tree is an integral part of the lives
of the people who live in the sub-Sahara region of West Africa. Traditionally,
the Sheanut tree belongs to the entire community and cannot be owned
by individuals even when found on private property. For centuries, the
Shea nut tree has helped conserve the ecosystems in Africa's semi-arid
regions. And over time, the sheanut trade has been critical in generating
and fostering economic growth in some of the poorest regions of sub-Saharan
West Africa. Often when everything else fails, the Shea nut tree is
there to provide succour and relief.
Local production of Shea butter provides families more
income earning opportunities to improve their communities.
of most primary products originating from Africa, Shea nuts and Shea
butter are failing to deliver meaningful local employment and decent
income for the communities that produce them. Once thought to be a possible
engine of economic growth, local handmade Shea butter barely provides
subsistence income to these communities.
It is estimated that over 95 percent of picked Shea nuts in Africa
is exported to oils mills in industrialized countries of the West to
make shea butter for the manufacture of countless beauty products that
make profits for the companies. But the women whose hardwork produce
the nuts often have little to show for it.
As a local producer/supplier, we at SAL utilize shea
nuts to make Shea butter in the areas or communities in which the nuts
are picked. Our supplies include production from members of internationally
renowned NGO's at Fair Trade prices. We share the view that Shea butter
producers/suppliers should commit investment capital in Shea nut producing
communities to attain and maintain local production of high quality
Shea butter for international businesses. Furthermore, SAL also believes
that serious effort should be made to ensure that some of investment
is made locally to provide better jobs and income - as we do in Tamale,
Ghana. This kind of investment distinguishes development oriented manufacturers
interested in «Enhanced Fair Trade» from those interested
in only increasing their profits.