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A loan helped women shea nut pickers get 20% higher prices by linking them to markets.
Naa Sakle's story
Back in 2000, my mother returned to our native Ghana to take care of her ailing mother (Grandma Sunshine). While there, she rediscovered her love of shea butter, a product known as Women’s Gold because of its usefulness to a woman’s household – 90% of the use of shea is in foods, but it also serves as a wonderfully soothing moisturizer and helps financially support millions of women across sub-Saharan Africa.
During Mom’s time in Ghana, she realized that the base of the shea pyramid, the women who often did back breaking work to support their families through the sale of shea butter, seldom received the fair value of their work. Traders would enter town, buy low and sell high on the global market (to which the women had no access), and leave these pickers and processors in the lurch.
She decided to step in and help strengthen existing cooperatives as well as build new coops in order to strengthen their networks. She started Mother Shea Limited which manufactures shea butter from shea nuts.
Throughout her time in the industry, she became a shea leader. The high quality shea nuts are picked by women in rural areas and they are converted into shea butter in-house. We’re using her past experience as the President of the Global Shea Alliance to provide consumers with the best shea around. With the help of thousands of sustainably paid and organically trained pickers, she brought attention and support to a pressured industry.
When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I decided life was too short to not spend our days together, so I joined her team in 2015. I started NaaSakle International, which is a distributor of shea based products in the US. We aim at bridging the gap between these rural shea nut pickers and global demand through our business lines thereby providing sustainable wages and organic training to pickers in northern Ghana.
Learn more about NaaSakle's journey through her blog. Kindly note Eu’Genia Shea is a group company and part of the NaaSakle Group.