Today, Africa is considered the poorest continent on Earth.
Seventy-seven percent of Africans live on less than $2 per day,
and women and children make up the majority of this number.
African families must also cope with the impacts of diseases
such as AIDS and malaria, high unemployment rates, and
increasing problems with air and water pollution, including
access to potable water. Africans are still experiencing
colonial legacies that impede the wellbeing of the people, such
as the systematic exclusion of women from the formal education
system and lack of access to adequate market information to
trade their products fairly. The discrepancy between the extreme
poverty and the natural wealth of the African continent has been
a constant puzzlement and source of frustration for my wife Rose
and I for many years. This frustration was the impetus for us to
extend a local family business into a global effort to improve
the lives and self-esteem of our communities in Africa and
Because I grew up in poverty in Togo, I feel morally responsible
to dedicate my life to empowering our communities in Africa. I
have chosen to promote indigenous African natural resources that
are culturally, spiritually, economically and ecologically
sustainable. Traditionally handcrafted shea butter fits these
criteria. It is a renewable resource of African origin; shea
trees are wild, requiring no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
Furthermore, it is an integral part of many savanna communities
and, consequently, there is a wealth of local and traditional
knowledge of making shea butter. The fair trade of our
handcrafted shea butter and shea butter skin care products is
bringing income to and empowering our communities in Togo, while
making indigenous, sustainable and effective skin care available
to the global community.
Fairly traded, handcrafted Shea Butter benefits the communities
that produce it as well as the communities that purchase it.
Members of our Agbanga Karite/Alaffia Shea Butter cooperative
gain pride as they are able to use their traditional knowledge
and skills to support their families. Our customers benefit
because they are receiving an authentic product directly from
the source. As part of our Fair Trade philosophy, we also return
10 % of our sales back to Africa for community enhancement
We also believe that Fair Trade applies to more than African
communities and resources. The same care and philosophies are
applied when crafting our creams, lotions, and soaps in Olympia,
WA. We bring our handcrafted oils to Olympia, where we make our
final products by hand in small batches. We combine our
handcrafted oils with other high quality ingredients, including
pure essential oils and food grade preservatives. We believe
customers should have access to body care products made with
unrefined, natural ingredients free of harmful chemicals, such
as parabens and petroleum derivatives.
Thank you for visiting our site and helping us with our cause.
We appreciate your support.
"We Agbanga Karite members believe we have a unique
traditionally handcrafted shea butter based on thousands of
years of experience and proven to maintain a healthy skin. We
are proud to be able to offer you our shea butter and black soap
and thank you for your support"
Limata Gbadamassi Director of Sokode Shea Butter Center
What We Stand For:
Empowerment of women in Togo and worldwide
Reduction of gender inequality by valuing women's indigenous
knowledge and skills and providing stable incomes
Providing scholarships and supporting education to enhance
opportunities for disadvantaged youth in our communities
Supporting AIDS and Malaria research to help our communities
Encouraging the conservation of shea trees and other indigenous
Promoting and maintaining fair trade and organic principles
Protecting indigenous African knowledge
Respecting everyone's ethnicity, religion and gender
Advancing member controlled, open, decentralized organizational