For over 50 years, we have played a leading role in the sourcing and processing of shea as an important raw material. The opening of our first local shea processing plant in Tema, Ghana is the next step in this journey. With this also comes the responsibility to work in a sustainable, transparent, and traceable way. This is what brought our shea sustainability initiatives to life in 2017.
The Where Life Grows program was set up with the objective to empower shea collecting women, create socio-economic value in their communities, and conserve and regenerate the shea landscape in the region.
One of the key sourcing areas for Bunge Loders Croklaan is centered around the Nasia community, in the northern part of Ghana. During 2021 and 2022 we video-documented the daily activities of these women. We follow them during their days of shea picking, shea processing, training and dry season farming. The video series provide insight how our program positively impacts their livelihoods.
Watch the videos here:
Did you know that the Shea tree, that grows in the West African Savannah park lands, is known as the "Tree of Life"? The shea nut from this tree is used to make shea butter, which is known for its nourishing properties and used as an ingredient in food and personal care products.
Shea is more than just a product, it turns life into purposeful living, helping the communities of its place of origin thrive. West-African communities rely on the shea industry for their livelihoods. Cooperative groups primarily comprised of and led by women do most of the shea nut collection and represent an integral part of the shea supply chain. This in turn strengthens the position of these women, empowering them to transform their own lives, the lives of their children, families and their entire communities.
For our seventh blog we spoke to Simballa Sylla, the CEO of Mali Shi, who is also the President of the Global Shea Alliance.
Mali Shi is the only large-scale industrial shea crushing factory in Mali, Africa and Bunge Loders Croklaan was at the cradle of the establishment of this enterprise. With this partnership we are committed to strengthening the shea infrastructure and supply chain, supporting local crushers and shea collectors with improved working conditions and economic opportunities.
Simballa told us all about the leaps of progress the region has been making over the years due to the creation of jobs in the shea industry in Africa.