So I went to Bawku. Yes! Waaay at the top in the Upper East Region. For what else... Shea Butter. Funny enough I have been in this business for 6 years and this was my first time leaving Accra to go and meet the amazing women I work with. Our relationship for the past few years has been one of trust and consistency. So much that, I didn't need to see them to do business with them. Yes, that still exists in Ghana.
It's the beginning of the Shea season, the trees are fruiting and mostly women are going out in bushes to pick the nuts to sell. An industry that can provide economic opportunity for thousands of impoverished people if it's only managed. But it is not. So much of what happens with Shea Butter production and pricing is dictated by this simple act of Shea Picking. Which to my surprise is done voluntarily by women who go to the bushes to pick from trees not owned by anybody and sell it for income. Shea Trees grow in the wild, therefore most are organic. I have always known there was work to be done on the Shea Processing side of my business but the extent of work needed is one I underestimated. I thought processing the Shea Butter into skincare products was where we needed the most help, because of the variety of skilled and unskilled labor it is able to support. I was wrong, there's so many other industries within this work that I am still unfolding. The value chain is endless.
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