ABOUT Shea Butter Market
Shea Butter Market is based in Mill Bay, British Columbia, Canada and we manufacture all-natural skin care products made with certified organic, fair trade shea butter.
Our Certified Organic Shea Butter comes from the edge of the Sahara Desert in West Africa where pure shea butter has been used for over 2,000 years. Pure African Shea Butter softens, moisturizes and heals skin damaged by the heat and sun. Ancient African wisdom knew that Shea Butter kept skin healthy and young. Modern science tells us that Pure African Shea Butter is filled with fatty acids to stimulate skin renewal; tocopherols to give shea butter natural antioxidant properties; and cinnamic acid to provide UV protection.
Using pure unrefined raw Shea Butter produced by the Kperisi village of northern Ghana, Africa we are able to achieve our goal of operating a business that benefits everyone; the women who make the shea butter, the natural environment and the people who use the product.
ABOUT FOUNDER Gifty Serbeh-Dunn
Shea Butter Market was launched to provide people with all natural products that do amazing things for their skin and hair and at the same time to provide the women who make the Shea Butter with a fair price for their product and support to help them and their families to climb out of poverty.
The business was founded by Gifty Serbeh-Dunn who grew up in Ghana. Gifty fervently believes that business can be a force for good and that doing business right means that everyone benefits; the women who make the Shea Butter, the natural environment, the people who buy and use the product, the distributors and retailers of the product and the workers and shareholders of Shea Butter Market Ltd.
Gifty grew up in northern Ghana in West Africa in the heart of what could be called the global Shea Butter capital. When she moved to Canada in 1981 she was amazed that North America did not know about Shea Butter. Over the years she became impassioned with the need to share Shea Butter with the world in a way that would benefit everyone, especially the women who made the Shea Butter and the people who would use the product.
In 1999 Gifty started experimenting with Shea Butter, adding essential oils and marketing products in little brown glass containers.
In 2003 Gifty travelled to Ghana and met the Tapko Widow’s Group, a group of widows from a northern Ghana village who had banded together so they could help each other to better feed and educate their families. One of their main activities was gathering Shea Nuts and making them into Shea Butter. Gifty recognized the quality of their product and the rightness of their cause and on the spot she bought 1,000 pounds of Shea Butter and arranged to have it shipped to Canada. Her first commercial Shea Butter business, SheaCare, was launched with the intent of wholesaling raw Shea Butter in North America.
Working from her kitchen, Gifty also continued to combine Shea Butter with high quality essential oils and other natural materials to make special products for friends and family. The people who used her products kept telling her amazing stories about what it had done for them. Stories about soothing dry, cracked and bleeding skin, saving savaged lips and healing bedsores became commonplace. It seemed like everyone was telling her that a product this good, and that could provide so much help to West African women, should be marketed more broadly. After talking it over with family and friends, Gifty decided to create another business that develops and markets Shea Butter based products. This was the start of Shea Butter Market.
Shea Butter Market is about creating and sharing value. At Shea Butter Market we believe in doing business so that the bounty of the Shea Tree can be widely and fairly shared. We pay a premium price to producers and donate 2% of the net profits back to the Tapko Widow’s Group. Finally and perhaps most importantly, by helping the women of Tapko and northern Ghana to receive economic sustenance from the fruit of the Shea Tree we encourage them to protect the trees and allow the trees to do their part, removing carbon dioxide from the air and helping in the battle against greenhouse gases and global warming.
ABOUT OUR Values & Beliefs
Shea Butter Market was founded on the belief that business could produce meaningful value for people, communities, shareholders and a broad range of stakeholders, and do so in a way that respects mother earth and the fragile ecosphere that we all live in. This is a bold goal and one that the founders work towards achieving. They realize that to achieve this goal they need to set out specific tasks and activities, monitor progress towards them and learn from their experience and that of others. They welcome advice on how to do things better as they realize that they will not perform perfectly.
There are specific principles that guide and direct the activities that they’ve undertaken so far to support progress towards their goal of a business that does good by doing good. These are:
Giving Back – Shea Butter Market has decided to donate 2% of net profits back to the Tapko Widow’s Group. They have also pledged to work with their distribution and marketing channels to find other opportunities to support the Widow’s group and other women in northern Ghana. Shea Butter Market will report annually on what is achieved in this area.
Respecting Mother Earth – Our planet has been blessed with an amazing biosphere that supports all of the life forms on this earth. This biosphere is delicate and mankind has been treading on it with increasingly destructive steps. Every day we go to bed with the biosphere a little less able to support life on earth than it was when we woke up. This is scary, very scary. Shea Butter Market is trying to do what it can to minimize our impact on the planet and will continually strive to do more. Our packaging is made of the highest grade of recyclable materials and we are looking at innovative ways to reduce the overall ratio of packaging to product. In our personal and business life we reduce, reuse and recycle as much as we know how and are regularly challenged to do more. The lands where our office sits are pesticide free and we are letting the stream that flows through our property go back to natural vegetation. We try to use eco-friendly cleaning products and other such items in our daily lives. Of course, we still have a long way to go, but we have started on a journey that we sincerely hope all of human kind will join us on.
Family and Community – In everything that we do we try to respect family and community. This means that if you drop by our office you may find Kabore, Gifty’s twelve year old son, doing a puzzle on the floor or you may find one of our team off volunteering in the local community or out participating in the building of local and international communities.
Profitability – As a business, if we do not make profits we could not do any of the things mentioned. Over time, we simply could not continue to exist. Profits and financial sustainability are just one dimension of the triple bottom line and must be respected and pursued just the same as the social and environmental dimensions.
All of us at Shea Butter Market want to thank anyone who has read to this point.
We invite your feedback and advice and hope that in your own lives you are able to actualize a triple bottom line approach.
Gifty loves to hear from users of their products and others interested in Shea Butter, women’s development and fair business practice.