Shea Butter : A Sustainable Partnership with the Women of Burkina Faso

L’OCCITANE is now the largest buyer of processed shea butter from the women of Burkina Faso. This equitable partnership dates back to the 80s, and its future remains bright.
By Angélique Jurquet

In 10 years, L’OCCITANE has increased its orders of shea butter from Burkina Faso by seven to become the premier buyer of this valuable cosmetics product. In 2013, the Provencal company even made a record order of 660 tons of shea butter.

This longstanding collaboration began when Olivier Baussan, founder of L’OCCITANE, decided to launch a sustainable co-development program with the women of the country on his return from a trip there in the 80s, offering to buy already processed shea butter directly from the women of Burkina Faso.

Since then, with a fair trade approach, enabling better compensation for these producers, L’OCCITANE pays its processed shea butter 3.5 times more than local market prices.

This long-term partnership between L’Occitane and the women of Burkina Faso has even been recognized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as an “exemplary business”. Furthermore, L’OCCITANE is now a member of “Business Call To Action” launched in 2008 by the UNDP and other partners, bringing businesses together to contribute to the economic development of the poorest countries and the protection of their environment.

Shea Butter : A Sustainable Partnership with the Women of Burkina Faso
Shea Butter : A Sustainable Partnership with the Women of Burkina Faso
The shea Butter, "women's gold" in Burkina Faso.
Photography : DR L'OCCITANE
Shea Butter : A Sustainable Partnership with the Women of Burkina Faso
Shea Butter : A Sustainable Partnership with the Women of Burkina Faso
This long-term partnership between L’Occitane and the women of Burkina Faso has even been recognized by the United Nations Development Programme.
Photography : DR L'OCCITANE