Industry Overview

Nearly 2 billion shea trees grow naturally on parklands in 21 African countries stretching from Senegal to South Sudan. 16,000,000 women living in rural communities individually collect the fresh fruits and the kernel is processed to extract a healthy vegetable oil known as “shea butter.”

Shea offers technical and health benefits as a cooking oil and food/cosmetic ingredient, and is widely available in Africa. With approximately 600,000 tons collected each year, the industry provides a critical source of jobs and incomes to often poor and underserved communities.