Shea only grows in the wild : It is “organic by nature” and encourages the food-producing crops of Sorgho’s Yam or Millet.
By organically certifying the soils that grow shea, while promoting the tree, we attempt to contribute to the local food-producing development and help to reduce intensive cultures which require chemical inputs.
There has been some controversy over organic certification of shea trees.
Karethic has been rejecting this process because of the cost, and additionally, because the shea tree is not farmable : it grows without upkeep or fertilizer.
'Carole, remembers one day, while they were meeting with the shea butter women producers of the Atacora in July 2009 we received testimonies of chemical inputs used by their husbands for cotton’s culture. This had me convinced : bark blue rivers’ water, ill-formed newborns… I didn’t have to explain to them why organic food crops, they knew about it before I did, but the most difficult part was yet to come… Convince the Husband!'
It is not the shea tree that is organically certified, but the soil from which it grows. It is true that most African villages have chemical inputs-free soils, but to not certify them organic is to let the possibility of intensive culture to evolve and recreating the mistakes of “developed” countries! To protect those organic soils, we “simply” decided to certify them organic by Ecocert. For Karethic, it is more than just a marketing move to seduce consumers. IT IS A COMMITMENT.
The Partners of Karethic
Association loi 1901, Bio Partenaire réunit des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises soucieuses de produire dans le respect des critères environnementaux et qualitatifs de l’Agriculture Biologique et des critères du Commerce Equitable.
UNIDO is the specialised agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.
Searce is an international research agency specialised in customised market research for NGOs, Trade Promotion Organisations, Trade Associations and similar organisation that aim to stimulate the exports from developing countries to Europe.
in 2012, The Beninese Agency for Business Trade (“Agence Beninoise des Echanges Commerciaux”) met the Global Shea Alliance team in Benin and actively takes part in the promotion of the shea butter made by the women producers.