Earthoil’s fair trade argan oil brings medical care to Moroccan women


With proven nourishing properties, argan oil is ideal for use as a skin moisturiser and revitaliser

An all-female co-operative in the Souss Valley area of Morocco has gained better access to healthcare, thanks to its partnership with Earthoil to produce the only fair trade argan oil in the world.

A full check-up was completed for each of the 60-strong group of women and a medical record created, with the majority having never previously seen a doctor. The initiative was funded by fair trade premiums, which have been paid as a result of Earthoil providing the co-operative members with a direct route to the global cosmetics market.

With proven nourishing properties, argan oil is ideal for use as a skin moisturiser and revitaliser. It also strengthens hair and nails, making it a popular ingredient in shampoos, conditioners and nail care products. The co-operative where Earthoil sources its argan oil was formed in 2007 to provide a way out of poverty.

Traditional methods are used to extract the argan oil, and the women are involved at every stage in the production process meaning the oil has full traceability to its source.

Since it was established, the co-operative has had a very positive impact on the lives of its members and their families. The women now benefit from the security of a regular income, and healthcare knowledge and overall literacy have improved. The most recent fair trade premiums have been used to make working conditions more comfortable, as well as giving the access to medical professionals.

'Earthoil specialises in smallholder producer projects in remote areas of the world, and our work with argan oil is a great example of the benefits that ethical and sustainable practices can bring to local communities,' says Melissa Naish, Vegetable Oils Manager, Earthoil.

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'Demand for natural personal care products continues to grow, and our argan oil – with its unique cosmetic properties and organic status – is perfectly positioned for cosmetics businesses looking to be part of this trend,' she added.