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Respecting Tradition, Supporting Communities

At Deluxe Shea Butter, we work with women co-operative groups for the processing of our organic and fair-trade Shea butter. Traditionally it has been the women who go and pluck or gather the shea nuts. The women sometimes have to travel as far as 17 kilometres on foot and carry bags in excess of 40kgs on the heads whilst carrying their children on their backs. Working within the Shea trade in many cases is the only form and sole source of income for these women and their families.

The Deluxe Extraction Process

  • Shea fruits/nuts are harvested – mature/ripe nuts fallen from Shea trees are gathered by women and piled.
  • A thorough inspection is done, and matured dry fruits are separated from those that are going bad. Normally, the nuts that have had their pits or the sweet part eaten or taken off are cleaned and kept.
  • The nuts are then boiled and sun dried for a few hours on traditional drying mats.
  • The nuts are dehusked to get their kernels – this involves the nuts being pounded in a mortar or ground on a grinding stone, and then sent to a grinding machine to be ground to a very smooth powder. Due to the labour intensive process involved, women normally come together at this stage to help.
  • After the nuts are ground into a smooth powder, water is boiled and the powder stirred in slowly and kneaded by hand (hands are washed with clean water) to form an emulsion to separate fats. As the stirring and kneading continues, lukewarm water is added in 15 to 30 minute intervals.
  • After a while, the butter starts to form at the surface, and the women carefully collect it with their hands. The collected butter is placed into a different pan, on low heat, to liquefy again. The above process is repeated until the women are sure that no impurities (that is, traces of the husk) remain.
  • The butter/oil is collected and double filtered into a pan and left to cool down to a thickening point before packaging. The unrefined Shea butter is packed and ready for export.

Supporting the Women of Ghana

Here at Deluxe Shea Butter, it’s the people behind the product who make it all happen. Our fair trade products are a direct result of giving members of the Ghanaian communities a fair go with a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

Sana Danaa of the Sankapalla Dakoliyili community is a grandmother of 3 and one of our most experienced shea pickers.
Sana’s underprivileged childhood meant that her parents could not afford to send her to school. With a burgeoning family of her own, Sana has to work 3 jobs to be able to send some of them to school for better employment opportunities.
Memunatu Mahamadu is from the Buiyili community, she has 5 children and 3 grandchildren. She always has a smile on her face!
To make ends meet, Memunatu farms, sells charcoal to burn and picks shea nuts. Memunatu is such an inspiration to us all in her desire and effort to provide food, clothing and education for her loving family. Well done Memu, we couldn’t be prouder of you.
Anda Awudu takes pride in producing the best shea butter in Ghana! She’s dedicated to providing for her community.
For over 15 years, Anda has been involved in Deluxe Shea Butter production. She works incredibly hard to ensure that the Shea butter she produces is of the highest quality, earning her our honorary title of Shea Butter Queen. Her five amazing children are her main motivation and she loves to see her community thrive.
Tamarima a 21 year old from the Gumo community. She loves reading and is passionate about bettering her community!
Tamarima is a 21 year old from the Gumo community. She loves reading and is passionate about bettering her community! Her mother Fati Ibrahim is a Shea butter producer from the Gumo producing centre while her father Ibrahim is a farmer. She plans on becoming a teacher to help educate the children in her community.
Jamilah Sumani is an enthusiastic eighteen year old from the Gumo community and loves making shea butter.
Meet Jamilah Sumani our Shea Butter Baller. Jamilah Sumani is an eighteen year old from the Gumo community, both Jamilah and her mother, Sanatu, have been helping to produce our Shea butter for over 20 years.

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