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Our Story

about-us.jpgWho We Are

Ojoba Collective is a fair trade company based in Portland, Oregon. Started in 2003, we work directly with women’s cooperatives in rural Ghana, West Africa to produce shea butter, baobab oil, and are in the process of developing other plant derived natural body care ingredients. 

Our first cooperative, formed in 2003, is the Ojoba Women’s Shea Cooperative. The development of this group from “the bottom up” has created a strong foundation for women’s empowerment and sustainable development to take hold. It has grown from 50 women to 400 women today. We are now applying the same successful framework to our newer groups, and are proud to have created a unique business model which is transparent and fair trade.

 

Where We Work

We work in a remote area of northeastern Ghana, West Africa. It is a dry savanna region where farmers traditionally grow millet and ground nuts, and rely on seasonal rains to grow their crops.

The villagers we work with still live traditionally as subsistence farmers and have little access to electricity, running water, public transportation, international markets, or many other amenities of the modern world. Very few of the adults have received formal education, and there are few job opportunities.

When we started, most of the population lived in extreme poverty, on less than a dollar a day. By building production facilities and cooperatives in these villages, we have created economic opportunities for over 500 women and their families.

 

Memberships/Certifications

Ojoba Collective has been a proud and active member of the Fair Trade Federation since 2004.

We have been selected as a “Gold Certified Green Business” by Green America because of the strength of our commitment to social and environmental concerns in both the United States and Ghana.

Ojoba Collective is consistently chosen as one of the top 500 natural cosmetics companies by Organic Spa Magazine.

We are also members of the Natural Products Association and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

 

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