What is Kombo Butter and Why Did Baraka Launch the Industry?
The story of Baraka Kombo Butter really epitomizes the essence of Baraka’s Purpose.
It brings a valuable natural ingredient to market in a way that maximizes the economic impact on the hard-working women who harvest and create it, enhances ecosystem health and biodiversity, and at the same time introduces a natural ingredient with unique properties to the natural and organic skin-care and cosmetics market.
Why does Kombo Butter matter?
That was my reaction when approached by one of our key conservation partners, NCRC, to see if we would work with them to develop and commercialize Kombo Butter.
They explained how the Kombo Tree, popularly known as African Nutmeg, was a natural shade tree (reaching up to 120 feet tall) in the Cocoa Forest and provided valuable diversity to cocoa forest ecosystems. They told us how it was being cut to allow more cocoa trees and for timber, but that it had tremendous potential as a valuable ingredient for skin-care and cosmetics, and as an income source for remote, rural women.
Our research, utilizing both traditional and scientific/technical knowledge
Traditional research identified that Kombo Butter, made from the seed inside Kombo Fruit, has traditionally been used for natural pain relief. The butter is rubbed into the skin to relieve arthritic, muscle, joint and other bodily pains and aches. It is also used to treat burns, scars and wounds.
Scientific and technical research told us that Kombo Butter is rich in myristoleic acid and has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
We learned that the women can make use of much of the same harvesting and processing equipment, drying racks, gathering material, etc.
Together with NCRC we started working with the women who wanted to try this new opportunity and got enough Kombo Nuts to do a trial production.
The women were thrilled with the way the Kombo Harvest added to their income and gave them the dignity of income. Listen and watch to how purchasing Kombo directly helps Ama and her 7 children:
“Anytime they [customers] purchase, she gets some income that helps her independence, makes her comfortable, and helps meet basic needs for her and her children.”
Our First Production
Baraka started in the remote, rural regions of Northern Ghana and our goal has always been to bring as much economic benefit as possible to this often neglected area of the country. It was natural that we looked to the women we worked with on Shea Butter to do the actual production of Kombo Butter.
We organized training programs to teach them how to make Kombo Butter (utilizing much of the infrastructure we used for Shea Butter) and they were great at it. They learnt so fast and have been amazing at managing quality and yield.
And The Market Loves It
When we started selling Kombo Butter we had a lot of ‘what is it? Why should I use it?’ type of reactions.But, as people tried it they loved it. See some of their reactions here.
They raved about the pain-killing properties. And, to our delight, our customers discovered how well it works together with Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oils and other ingredients, improving the consistency and reducing the ‘greasiness’ when applied.
We also have very easy DIY recipes using Baraka Kombo Butter!
Kombo Butter has really turned out to be the product that exemplifies the way Baraka wants to do business. A valuable natural ingredient that our customers love and their customers benefit from. A valuable income source for hard-working rural women in Ghana. And, by developing the market we are helping to conserve natural bio-diversity and protect the ecosystem.
A true win-win-win for all of us, and all made possible because of the hard-working women that harvest and produce Kombo Butter and our amazing customers who formulate and produce such incredible products that use it.
Try this muscle blend recipe today with only 4 ingredients!
Soothe your muscles with an avocado and kombo body butter!