I’m often asked this question. And I appreciate it. It shows you care about where your ingredients come from and that is important.
We take a lot of pride in bringing products to you that have positive social and environmental impacts – and are thrilled that we have a customer base (and that our customers have a customer base) where that is important.
Let me tell you the Baraka Palm Oil story. I think it is pretty neat, how my sustainability consulting work from years back came full circle and helped us to create an ethical and impactful palm oil supply chain.
Most of the worst practices in Palm Oil come out of Asia. The African experience is different, although it certainly isn’t perfect and there are, and have been, large mono-culture plantations developed by clearing virgin forest in Africa
But there is another whole sector to the industry in Africa. One we are proud to be a part of and one that I am proud to have played a role in helping to create through some of my sustainability consulting work about 15 years ago.
I was helping a Canadian mining company optimize its social and economic impact in the Western Ghana, where it was operating. There was no way that mining related employment and income generation opportunities could absorb anything near the local demand for jobs and income. More had to be done.
We realized that there were a lot of degraded forest lands in the area, lands that had been harvested and not replanted. After consultations with community, government and others, we set up a project to convert these degraded lands to small-holder palm oil operations and provided training, support and resources to help local families to take them over.
So, last year when I was ready to expand our products and include Palm Oil that was where I went. It has expanded considerably, and they are now even using palm oil plantation to recover mining disturbed lands (see more here https://bit.ly/396ZLwa)
So, every bit of Baraka Palm Oil is hand-grown and harvested by small holder farmers. Women’s engagement, employment and earnings are paramount. And, we work with an RSPO (Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil https://rspo.org/) facility (Baraka is a Supply Chain Partner in RSPO). The facility has a great social and environmental track record – You can see/hear more on that in this interview Sustainable Palm Oil Impact Interview.
I hope this helps you to understand why we carry palm oil and how ever bit we sell and every product our customers sell that is made with it has a direct impact on women and families in rural communities.
If you want more balanced perspective on palm oil check out some of the articles and podcasts from my friends at Innovation Forum https://www.innovationforum.co.uk/
And, if you want to try Baraka Palm Oil, palm oil that helps recover degraded lands and gives the dignity of income to hard-working Ghanaian women, you can order at https://barakasheabutter.com/