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Here we address popular topics and questions, so we can help you know Baraka better.


      • Baraka Shea Butter is naturally vegan. It is 100% hand-made from the nut (seed) of the shea tree using age-old traditions and techniques passed down through generations.
      • Baraka Shea Butter is exported from Ghana as a cosmetic product, not as a food product. It is the same shea butter that is used for food and cooking in the communities where it is made, but we don’t sell it as an edible product.
      • Baraka Shea Butter is never tested on animals. Never, ever, ever. We do know of customers who use it on their pets if they have skin sores or cracked paws. We have also heard from customers who use it on their horses and on their milk cow’s udders. But, never for testing, always for healing.
      • All Shea Butter has a scent unless it is processed and chemically de-scented (and who wants that!). Baraka Shea Butter will often have a very slight smoky smell that lingers from fires that the shea nuts are roasted on. Shea butter can get a rancid scent over time. The length of time it takes to go rancid is dependent on many things, depending especially on how well it is made. Poorly made shea butter will go rancid quickly.
      • All Baraka Shea Butter is Community Certified Fair Trade. This means that the women who make it meet annually to review their relationship with Baraka Shea Butter and whether or not they have been treated fairly. They review and discuss as a group and decide whether or not to let Baraka continue to use the Community Certified Fair Trade logo.
        Fair treatment includes:

        • Payment of a premium price above market price
        • Negotiation of price and relationship as a group
        • A respectful and dignified relationship with Baraka
        • Support for community, family, youth, education and other priorities as identified by the women’s groups
        • Plus other priorities and issues as identified by the women’s group

        You can hear see and hear the women’s group and community leaders discuss Baraka and Fair Trade in this video

      • Baraka Shea Butter can be used as is (that is how it has been traditionally used for centuries to protect hands, feet, and skin against the harsh reality of life on the edge of the Sahara Desert).
        Many use shea butter as a base for making all kinds of skin and hair care products, and pet care products too. You can find additional ideas and recipes online.
        We also maintain a DIY recipe site that has recipes and formulation tips.
      • There are several quality control systems and processes that work together to ensure that Baraka Shea Butter meets or exceeds the quality expectations of our customers (93% of respondents rate the quality as Great or above).

        Quality control starts with the women who make the shea butter. Their processes have evolved over centuries, passed down from mother to daughter, or grandmother to granddaughter, so they have a natural, built-in quality control. Because they made shea butter for their personal use long before they sold it for export, they wanted good quality shea butter for themselves.

        Baraka Shea Butter has also added other processes and checkpoints including:

        • A Quality Control manual and system, based on traditional practices with modern interventions such as straining the freshly melted oil before cooling and packaging. This system is inspected annually as part of the quality control review which is part of the Organic certification process.
        • Every woman who makes Baraka Shea Butter is registered and must undergo a quality control training process before she begins.
        • Dedicated processing and work areas designed to facilitate quality control.
        • A Shea Butter expert that meets with the women every year and reviews quality control and, if warranted, runs classes to demonstrate techniques and processes. Baraka Shea Butter covers all costs for this.
        • Visual inspection of each carton while it is being packed. We reject any that do not meet our requirements. Cartons are filled and weighed with our team leader present, and he inspects each one.
        • We have our shipments tested by the Ghana Standards Authority for quality and safety issues before export. A copy of their Certificate of Analysis report is available on request when you order (email to request)
        • And, if there are ever any quality issues (we are all human after all) we offer a 100%, no questions asked satisfaction guarantee that includes replacement or refund.
      • Baraka Shea Butter is pure, unrefined and hand-crafted using age-old techniques passed down through generations.You can see an animated infographic on the Baraka Shea Butter process here.

        Not all shea butter is made this way. Much of the shea butter on the market and used in cosmetics and skin care products is made using chemicals and harsh mechanical processes and often ‘refined.’

      • In order for your full product to be certified as Organic, you will need to have your production processes, procedures and ingredients certified as there is very strict control on contamination as well as other risks and issues.

        If you purchase Baraka Certified Organic Shea Butter and only use that in your product you can claim that you use 100% certified organic shea butter in the product, but you cannot claim the product is certified organic without being certified yourself as the certification needs to confirm that your handling of the product meets the criteria for organic certification.

      • Baraka’s Certified Organic Shea Butter is inspected and certified to meet USDA NOP and EU certification standards.
      • Organic Baraka Shea Butter is made from shea nuts/seeds that are sourced from areas that are certified as free from pollutants and contaminants and every additional step in the process is similarly certified. The process is inspected and certified as organic and the certificates are available to you if you purchase Certified Organic Baraka Shea Butter.
      • Wow! This answer could take a book, or more, to fully respond to. There are so many.
        But, regulations and laws kick in, and there isn’t a lot we can say here. Just google “Benefits and uses of shea butter,” and you will see what others say.
        Additionally, you can read our reviews on Google and Facebook; you will see what others have to say as well.
      • Shea Butter will still be good quality and very usable even after five years of stored in reasonable conditions (cool, dark, etc.).
        But, to be on the safe side, we set a shelf life of three years from when the women make it.
        We’ve never had a customer have a problem with that shelf-life period.
        We did once have a customer contact us five years after they purchased shea butter to tell us that they thought it had gone rancid. They had stored it in a damp place all that time.
        We replaced it, including shipping, because we stand behind Baraka Shea Butter 100%.
      • It will be nice and creamy and buttery! That is if you get home in a day or two or even a week. If you didn’t plan to be home for a few years you should probably arrange cool, dark storage for it.

        The reality is that Shea Butter is produced in areas where the temperature is often VERY HOT and it does just fine. It isn’t good to subject it to long periods of intense heat but a day or two, or three, isn’t a big deal. And, when it is very warm, it is creamier and butterier (my computer says Butterier isn’t a word, but I am sure you know what I mean).

      • If you think shea butter has to be snow white and hard, then you are thinking of refined shea butter.

        Baraka Shea Butter is pure, unrefined and traditionally made, using no chemicals, processes or destructive processes.

        The color will vary from a buttery yellow to an ivory/off-white colour. The colour is dependent on several factors including rains and climate during the growing season, mineral makeup of the soil, whether it is nuts from the very first fruits or later fruits in the harvest and, I’m sure, other things that we don’t know about.

        We do know that whatever the specific colour of your Baraka Shea Butter, it is the natural colour that nature meant it to be.

        We know that some producers add yellow food colouring to try and get a consistent yellow colour. Of course, we don’t do that. If someone is advertising colour consistency in their shea butter, you may want to ask how they can make that claim unless they add something to it.

        As for pure white… Pure white shea butter is processed and de-scented, often with harmful chemicals. This process not only sounds horrid, but it also takes away many of the special healing and restorative powers that Baraka Shea Butter has because of the traditional and natural way it is processed.

      • Yes. Baraka Shea Butter provides private label formulation and production.

        Our experienced team can work with you to develop customized products and formulations, or we can adapt our existing recipes for your business and market.

        We can help and support you with packaging, labels and can even drop ship the finished product for you.

        Our private label service focuses exclusively on shea butter. Shea butter isn’t just another ingredient for us. We know how to help you develop and produce shea butter based products that will thrill your customers and help you to grow your business.

      • Do you have additional or other questions about shea butter? Email them to us or suggest others we could include here.

      • BC Sales tax is automatically charged on all shipments delivered anywhere in BC and on local pickup orders.
        If you are BC Tax (PST Exempt), please email us, and we will send you the PST Exempt ordering link. If you also want to pick your order up from the warehouse, please let us know in the email.
      • We will accommodate whenever we can, but this is an area where our immediate shipping policy works against us. If your order hasn’t left, we will do everything we can to change it or cancel it and refund your money.
        If it has left already, please email us, and we will do all we can to accommodate you.
      • Yes. We offer pickup from our warehouse in Duncan, BC. To order for local pickup you need to use this link.
        If you have already been to the website and have products in your cart, you will need to empty your cart and refresh your browser before the link will work.
      • We have sizes ranging from 250 gram Shea Butter bags to 27kg cartons of shea.
        We recommend just ordering what you want. You have no risk whatsoever if you want to just order the amount you think you want to use. If you get the product and don’t like it just let us know and we will replace or refund. No questions asked. Ever.
        We stand behind our product 100%, no questions asked. If you are unhappy in any way just let us know and we will make it right. No questions asked. Ever.
      • If you want to use a freight forwarder, you can have your order shipped to them, or we can work with you to have them pick it up from us. If you have any questions just email us.
      • You can place an order directly from our website. If you have problems, or any questions, please email or phone +1.855.929.7639
      • Baraka Shea Butter is packed directly into BPA free, plastic lined cartons in Ghana by the women who make it. They leave a handprint on top of the carton before it is sealed and their producer number is recorded on the carton.
        It literally goes from their hands to yours. It is packed in three different carton sizes (small, medium and large [6kg, 18kg, and 25kg]).
        We often deliberately overfill or underfill the cartons to give additional ordering options so you may see different sizes on our website. And, we combine them so if you order 12kgs you are likely to get 2 x 6kg cartons.
        We have also created a consumer package, designed for the DIY market. This is repackaged at our facility in Canada and sells in 250gram and 500gram sizes. You will find this in an increasing variety of stores.
      • The short answer is as quickly as possible. We want you to have it so you can start using it (and the sooner you start using it, the sooner you can order more!)
        The practical reality is that we try to ship next business day, even on orders received in the evening. Sometimes we can ship same day on orders received early.
        You should receive a notice with tracking information when it ships. If you don’t, please contact us, and we will send it to you.
        Most of our shipping is done with the Post Office and FedEx Ground. Faster shipping options are available on the website, and you have the option to chose them.
      • We ship worldwide. Outside of continental North America, you can choose between DHL or Canada Post for shipping at checkout.
        If you want to use a freight forwarder, you can have your order shipped to them, or we can work with you to have them pick it up from us. If any questions just email us.
      • We maintain a full complement of product documentation, information, and certificates including MSDS sheets, lot and batch numbers, organic and fair trade certificates, certificates of analysis, etc.
        If you want any of these, please note on your order and send an email to request exactly what you want.
      • Our website accepts most payment forms including e-transfers. If you have a payment type you would like to use, and the website doesn’t accept it please email, and we will see if we can accommodate you.
      • We have flat rate shipping in continental North America (everywhere except for Hawaii and Alaska). One rate for Canada and one for the USA. That is a subsidized rate where we pay about 35% of the average shipping cost.
        If you want faster shipping by air, you can select that at checkout.
        For international orders, we use Canada Post and DHL. You can see the cost and select between the two at checkout.
      • The website prices are in CAD$. We don’t have an automated process for updating the exchange rate prices shown on the website, so if you want current and accurate rates, you should check the USD$ to CAD$ rates and factor in what your credit card company will charge extra.
        Your credit card company will bill you in whatever currency your credit card is in.
      • We stand behind our product 100%, no questions asked. If you are unhappy in any way just let us know and we will make it right. No questions asked.
        If you are unhappy, we will also try to find where/if we went wrong and how we can improve. Our satisfaction ratings for Baraka Shea Butter and the service that our team provides are off the charts positive.
        When we have someone who isn’t happy we want to know, and we want to do what we can to make it right for them and to make sure we fix anything we can.
        If you are ever unsatisfied in any way, with our product or our service, please, please, let us know. If you know of anyone who is unsatisfied, please ask them to let us know or send us their contact information, and our Managing Director, Wayne, will personally follow up.
      • Do you have additional or other questions about shea butter? Email them to us or suggest others we could include here.

      • Baraka has a full-time presence in northern Ghana with our local team
        I (Wayne) am in Ghana several times a year and spend as much time as I can in the communities where we work and with the people we work with.
        If you want to see information and videos on the women, families, and communities in the north, you can follow us on social media (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest)
      • We regularly post videos to our FaceBook page and have a Baraka Channel on YouTube with short videos about making shea butter, women, families, education, environment, community life and more.We’d welcome any feedback you have or requests for specific videos.
      • Yes, of course. We would be happy to facilitate that.
        We have actually led a few visits to the community: a customer group, a group of development students and others.
        We have been asked about organizing a visit and making seats available and are considering that. It would likely be a 10-day visit that would include a visit to the women who make Baraka Shea Butter, a visit with a group of women who make Bolga Baskets and a range of cultural and touristic experiences.
        We are not taking sign-ups now but watch our newsletter and Facebook page if you are interested. We will announce it there.
      • All Baraka Shea Butter is Community Certified Fair Trade.

        This means that the women who make it meet annually to review their relationship with Baraka Shea Butter and whether or not they have been treated fairly.

        They review and discuss as a group and decide whether or not to let Baraka use the Community Certified Fair Trade logo

        Fair treatment includes:

        • Payment of a premium price above market price
        • Negotiation of price and relationship as a group
        • A respectful and dignified relationship with Baraka
        • Support for community, family, youth, education and other priorities as identified by the women’s groups
        • Plus other priorities and issues as identified by the women’s group

        You can hear see and hear women’s group and community leaders discuss Baraka and Fair Trade in this video.

      • Do you have additional or other questions about shea butter? Email them to us or suggest others we could include here.

      • Baraka Shea Butter is a Canadian business but has 50% Ghanaian ownership and has had a close connection to Ghana since it was created.
        Baraka operates a Ghanaian registered company for its work in Ghana
      • The best way to contact us is by email (info@barakasheabutter.com) You can also reach us by phone (+1.855.929.7639), message us on Facebook, WhatsApp (+1.250.701.6088) or you can call/text Wayne directly on his mobile* (+1.250.701.6088)
        *Note: When Wayne is in Africa he may be a bit slow on responding to calls/texts. He is very fast on email.
      • We believe that we are in a climate crisis and want to do our part and support others to do theirs as well.

        We try to organize our work, our activities and our life to tread as softly as we can on our planet.

        We actively work with and support the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted unanimously by all countries.

        Baraka Shea Butter was founded on the belief that business should create profit for the owners, create value for the entire value chain, from producers through to end-users, create value and impact in the communities where we work and be effective stewards of the environment.

        We don’t do this out of a sense of obligation, or because we are forced. We do it because we believe it is smart business in so many ways.

        To learn more about our thinking on this, you can read the blogs below and check out the CSR Training Institute an impact organization founded and run by Baraka’s Founder and Managing Director.

        You can see more about our work and commitment on these videos

        Shea Butter – no waste from making it

        Waste Not. That is how we do it.

        @Amina Yussif, explains the care and strategy that goes into ensuring that nothing is wasted when making Baraka Shea Butter. She explains how the hard-working women who make Baraka Shea Butter carefully work with any remaining residue and material, shaping and drying it so they can use it for fuel for cooking, and even making the next batch of pure, unrefined, hand-crafted Baraka Shea Butter

        Shea Tree Regeneration Interview
        Shea Trees grow wild and regenerate naturally. I’m often asked about how many seeds are left behind to regenerate and grow. Most of them are. Research estimate suggests that at least 85% of the Shea Seeds that fall from Shea Trees are unpicked and available to germinate.

        As you can see from the discussion with Alfred Akolgo Baraka’s Country Manager, there are lots of young Shea Trees coming up. Shea Trees take several years before they start fruiting, so these young seedlings are a few years away from producing the delicious fruit and the seed that makes Shea Butter.

        The real dangers to Shea Trees and the industry are burning. While efforts are underway to reverse it, there is a growing practice of burning off areas in the dry season. This damages the seedlings. There is also some cutting of Shea Trees for making charcoal (although the more money people make from the Shea Butter industry the less motivation there is for this). Climate change is another issue – there isn’t a lot known about how climate change will affect the Shea Industry but what is known is scary.

        Using shells from shea nuts for fuel
        Nothing is wasted.

        Preparing Shea Nuts (seeds) for making Shea Butter includes removing the husks. These husks are not just discarded. Watch as @Baraka’s Women’s Development Coordinator @Amina Yusiff explains how the women use the husks for fuel, saving resources and money

        Using everything – fuel from Shea Butter residue
        Using everything

        Hand-crafting pure, unrefined shea butter leaves behind a residue that is not wasted. The hard-working women that make @Baraka Shea Butter mold this residue into fuel balls that they dry and use for cooking and even sometimes for making their next batch of Shea Butter! Listen to Baraka’s Women’s Development Coordinator, @Amina Yusiff as she explains how this is done

        Cultural Display at Global Day to Combat Desertification, Wechiau, Ghana
        Desertification is affecting Shea Trees
        Baraka and its Founder, Wayne Dunn have been actively involved in the conservation of Ghana’s fragile Savannah for years.

        This video that Wayne filmed in 2011 in northern Ghana while he was supporting Ghana’s Environmental Protection Agency on their Anti-Desertification Program highlights some of the community/cultural integration that is part of the effort to create grassroots awareness and action on climate change and its impact.

        Baraka is actively involved in promoting conservation of Shea Trees. Lack of economic options often forces families to cut down Shea Trees and make charcoal for cooking (Shea is known as producing the best hardwoods). Baraka is involved in education and awareness campaigns and, more importantly, every kilogram of pure handmade Baraka Shea Butter that is purchased puts more money into the hands of hard-working women and families and incentivizes them to preserve the Shea Trees

      • Baraka Shea Butter operates from the beautiful Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island in Canada and Wa in northern Ghana. Our warehouse is located at 4432 Howie Road, Duncan, BC, Canada, and our offices at 2457 Bakerview Road, Mill Bay, BC, Canada.If you are in the neighborhood let us know. We would love to meet you.
      • What other questions do you have about our business and our work?Email them to us and suggest others we could include here.
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