L’Occitane Shea Butter : A Fair-Trade Supply Chain

L’OCCITANE has been developing a truly equitable supply chain of shea butter with the women of Burkina Faso since 1980. Today, this lasting partnership, built on the long term, is certified “Fair Trade.”
By Justine Fiordelli

It all began in 1980, when Olivier Baussan, founder of L'OCCITANE heard about shea butter for the first time during a trip to Dakar and decided to establish a sustainable co-development program with the women of Burkina Faso. Its purpose? To buy processed shea butter directly from the women of Burkina Faso, who hold the secret of making shea butter, to ensure a better distribution of wealth and help the country develop.

In 2013, L’OCCITANE ordered more than 660 tons of shea butter in Burkina Faso, a 20% increase from 2012. A record significant of the success of this partnership which still has bright prospects. Better yet, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has even recognized L’OCCITANE as an “exemplary company” for its action taken in the shea industry.

Over time this sector has become even more professional. Indeed, since 2009 it is certified Fair Trade according to the ESR (Fairness, Solidarity, Responsibility) standard by Ecocert Environnement, a French certification body of environmental management systems. This has allowed the women of Burkina Faso to enhance the value of their label to their international clients and to empower themselves over the long term. Always with a Fair Trade approach, L'OCCITANE buys its processed shea butter at a price 3.5 times higher than the local market in order to contribute to the country’s economic development.

L’Occitane Shea Butter
L’Occitane Shea Butter
A truly equitable supply chain of shea butter with the women of Burkina Faso.
DR, L'Occitane en Provence
L’Occitane Shea Butter
L’Occitane Shea Butter
A truly equitable supply chain of shea butter with the women of Burkina Faso.
DR, L'Occitane en Provence

Latest articles

Beauty break: how to fight jet lag?

Beauty break: how to fight jet lag?

Holidays mean travel, and they can also mean long flights. Discover L'Occitane's advice to feel great after spending time in the air. The secret to beating jet lag is revealed!
The right foods for a perfect tan

The right foods for a perfect tan

Holidays in sight? To start perfecting your suntan, L'Occitane has some tips for the best foods to help you achieve a gorgeous natural tan.
Provence Touch: great ideas for freshening up your decor

Provence Touch: great ideas for freshening up your decor

Does your home's look need a bit of freshening up? L'Occitane shares some practical tips that can make a big difference without having to change too much.