We purchase directly from Jilima co-op which we set up and inaugurated in November 2019. Based in Northern Ghana, our purchase ensures that the co-op/community receive what is due them.
Shea produceres work so hard but unfortunately, most of the time, are paid too low. Some shea producers are being paid less than the market value. Obviously, without knowing the quality of shea being offered, it is difficult to compare.
There are so many different grades of shea on the market. Some of these are purchased on the open market or through co-ops. Some producers skip the part of selecting only the good nuts to produce the butter.
I have worked with these shea producers on various dates. They work long hours under the intense Ghanaian sun to produce a box of 25kgs of shea. Their cost of producing a box is about 2.5x what buyers are dictating.
In October 2018, we mobilised 54 women to form a co-op. We believe that gathering workers together in to co-operatives gives them some safeguards and empowers them to speak with a stronger voice to the buyer of the product. A better price and better terms should ensue.
We acquired land in October 2018, had it measured in January 2019 and started building a structure in March 2019.
We believe in trading fairly and pay them what is due them.
We also support them by donating a percentage of every purchase through our store.