OLVEA Burkina Faso is a French company that was established in 2008 in Bobo-Dioulasso in Western Burkina Faso, in the heart of the production area of shea nuts. The company produces shea butter which is highly appreciated by the cosmetics industry. At the start the company bought the bulk of its products from middlemen. As the quality and continuity of the production were far from optimal, OLVEA Burkina Faso looked into the possibilities to guarantee a sustainable supply chain by going straight to the producers and producer organisations.
98% of the shea producers in Burkina Faso are women. The income gained with the shea nut production makes many of them financially independent. The full potential of the shea nut production is however not realized, due to inefficiencies in the shea value chain. The OLVEA case shows that building sustainable relationships between (female) producers and buyers has benefits for both.
For OLVEA specific results are:
- Access to the sustainable organic market, a premium niche market, as the women produce in a sustainable way, without chemicals.
- Traceability through the chain, ensuring that the shea kernels do not contain contamination
- Better profits and expanded customer base: the value of this sustainable and high-quality supply chain is communicated and picked up by the market.
As announced in my post of November 26 I will publish a set of case studies illustrating the business case for gender sensitive business strategies. This is the third case, read also the other cases !