Shea butter is traditionally used in cooking, soaps and cosmetics. For centuries women in Africa, in a belt stretching from Sudan to Senegal, have collected and processed the fallen shea nuts. In the last years shea has become increasingly popular with international brands, for example as ingredient for skin care products.
The brands also want to ensure that the shea is sourced sustainably, ecologically and socially. This is possible with the ISCC certification approach for shea supply chains.
One example is AAK, one of the world’s leading producers of speciality vegetable fats. AAK has chosen ISCC certification for their shea supply chains. AAK works closely with the women who collect the shea, and improve their empowerment by, e.g. providing micro credits, pre-finance, logistical support or training to improve the first processing steps of shea in the villages.