Every year, L’OCCITANE orders several hundred tons of shea butter directly to cooperatives of women.
This means that the women who produce it have a stable source of income, enabling them to enjoy better living conditions. The majority of these women contribute to household expenses and 75 percent have been able to enroll their children in school. With our local team based in Burkina Faso, we’ve worked with cooperatives of women to obtain organic and fair-trade certification, which add to the value of their produce. Our contracts are multiannual and non –exclusive. We encourage them to trade with other clients and develop activities that are not necessarily shea related to obtain independence.
In 2018, we launched a 2 million dollars project for 3 years, the RESIST Programm based on 3 pillars :
- Natural resource protection,
- Sustainability of the shea butter process
- Revenues’ diversification,
We are constantly asking ourselves whither what we’re doing is the right thing, whether our actions male sense locally. That’s is why it’s so important to let the women “take over” this project to a certain extent. The initiative may have come from L’OCCITANE, but it’s up to them to make it work for them and fit their needs, so it’s something that will really help them – not just now, but over the long term.
Read more about L'OCCITANE's impact in Justine's IB Voices piece