Frequently Asked Questions
Unrefined Shea Butter FAQ
Is your shea butter refined?
No, our unrefined shea butter is handcrafted using traditional
techniques that have been used in central Togo for thousands of
years. No chemicals are used to extract or preserve our shea
butter. See how our unrefined shea butter is made.
What color is your unrefined shea butter?
Our shea butter is an ivory, off-white color that varies
slightly depending on the season.
Does your shea butter have an odor?
Our shea butter is unrefined, therefore it does have the
characteristic nutty aroma of unrefined shea butter.
What is the texture of your unrefined shea butter?
Our unrefined shea butter has a smooth, creamy texture with
absolutely no graininess.
Is your shea butter "pure"?
Yes, our unrefined shea butter is 100% pure. It has not been
refined in any way nor have we added any preservatives or other
Other Products FAQ
What is the difference between Virgin Coconut Oil and refined
Virgin Coconut Oil is unrefined and has not been stripped of any
of its natural antioxidants through the refining process.
Refined oils, including refined coconut oil, are stripped of
natural antioxidants and are highly prone to free-radical
generation. Free radicals damage skin cells and cause skin aging
and cancer. The antioxidants in virgin coconut oil not only
prevent free-radicals from forming in the oil, but also help
protect against free-radicals that the skin is exposed to. In
contrast, lotions and creams made from refined oils do not help
protect against free-radicals in the environment, and may also
expose the skin to additional free-radicals.
Is your African black soap in bars?
Our African black soap is in blocks or bricks, bars and liquid,
but can easily by melted and molded into bars.
Customer Service FAQ
Do you provide samples?
Yes, we provide samples for serious inquiries only. Please call
us at the number at the bottom of this page.
From where are your products
We ship from both Togo and our North American office in
Washington State depending on destination and size of order.
Orders under 5 metric tons to North America are generally
shipped from Washington. Larger orders and orders to Europe,
Africa, Australia, and Asia are shipped from Togo.
How soon will I receive my order?
For North American customers, small orders are shipped via UPS
ground and larger orders are shipped via UPS Hundredweight,
FedEx Express or Overnight Transportation. North American orders
placed before 11 am PST are shipped the same or next business
day. As soon as the carrier picks up the shipment, we provide
you with a tracking number. For customers outside North America
and any order over 5 metric tons, orders are shipped within two
weeks at any time during the year. For cargo shipments, we have
contracts with Maersk Sealand, Air France and Air Gabon
Is this operation a "scam"?
Not all African organizations are in the business of scamming.
We are a credible, legitimate, and professional organization. We
work hard to uphold a high standard of customer service.
Does buying from Agbanga Karite
Agbanga Karite does more than benefit a "village" or
"villagers." Purchasing from Agbanga Karite not only benefits
the individuals that craft our unrefined shea butter and other
virgin oils, but also their communities and Togo overall. First,
the women who craft our oils and butters are paid fair, steady
incomes regardless of whether we sell the products or not.
Second, we allocate a percentage of our income to the
communities where our products are produced. Third, the influx
of capital into Togo provides an economic resource that helps
local economies become self sufficient. Please see our
page, income allocation,
community projects and
policies for more information.
How does Agbanga Karite differ from
other shea butter suppliers?
We are a genuinely African-owned organization with our own shea
butter processing centers in central and southern Togo. We have
direct control over the production of our products, which
ensures that quality is consistent. We differ from other African
shea butter suppliers in that we maintain an office in the
United States that handles all customer service and financial
transactions. Please see our philosophy and
about us pages for
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