Maybe you’ve noticed lots of press lately about argan oil. If you’ve not discovered it yet, here’s an introduction.
Argan oil contains high levels of skin rejuvenating essential fatty acids and is great for moisturizing and nourishing the skin. Argan is sustainably sourced from the nuts of a native desert tree in Morocco and is valued for the protection it offers from the dry desert atmosphere of North Africa.
Frontier’s aromatherapy brand Aura Cacia® is proud to be sourcing their quality organic argan oil from women’s cooperatives in Morocco. Through their purchasing efforts they are able to make an impact in the lives of these women and their families.
The Atlas mountain range, home of the mountain of Toubkal, is so populated with argan trees that it is commonly referred to as “Argana.” Aura Cacia® team members Tim Blakley, Jennifer Ferring and Jane Merten traveled to this region in May 2011 to meet some of the producers of their organic argan oil.
Take a look:
On this trip, they met Fatima, the leader and co-founder of one particular co-op. She lost her husband years ago, leaving her with two young sons and significant debt. She came across a woman named H’Maidouch trying to sell her argan oil in the market. Fatima bought the oil from H’Maidouch so that she could use it to exchange for kitchen staples such as flour and bread. This experience gave Fatima the idea to start the co-op. With some help from government grants the two women were able to open Afoulki-Amskroud Cooperative in 2004.
Here are some quick facts about the Afoulki-Amskroud Cooperative.
- The cooperative produces around 10 tons of argan oil each year.
- Their yield is around 1 kg of argan oil from 2.5 kg of seeds.
- The cooperative employs 80 women, and each of them produce around 3 kg of argan seeds each day. Many choose to work part-time. The women share in the profits based on the amounts they produce.
- Afoulki-Amskroud is one of 11 women’s co-ops in the “Argana” area, and one of the 600 across all of Morocco.
Do you use argan oil? Tell us how.