Argan tree – The Story behind
Their story begins here with the Argan tree which known as argon. The tree Spinoza gows insouthern Morocco, it doesn’t grow anywhere else in the world. The tree bearsfruit every year and use its kernels to make Argan oil.
The women must collect 30 to 50 kilos of the fruit from seven
Argan trees toproduce one liter of oil.
They can’t pick the fruit straight from the tree as it has sharp thorns. It’s apainstaking process, everything is done by hand. In Berber culture, women who work to produce Argan oil consider it as an age-old tradition. Yet, much has changed since Jamila starts her secret meetings with local women in thehammam. Jamila is a Berber woman, but first and foremost, she’s abusinesswoman. Cooperation was the best idea, women will not produce the oil on their own, but they will make it together.
Some statistics of Argan oil
The women of the villagecongregate and meet, but the best thing is that they pool their resources. Theyfinally have enough oil in order to be able to market it. Berbers make Arganoil since the 13th century, but the method has changed. Very little Argan fruitcontains a nut with a hard shell, a polished stone. They rack Argan tree fruit with the stone, open the kernels inside, then ground it with a stone mill. Thiscan take many hours, and up to one or two days to produce one liter of oil.
Every woman gets around 25euros for this process while a liter can sold up to ten times than that amountin Germany. Still, Jamila negotiates for a good price, 1,300 women from 23different co-ops are currently supplying her with oil. A worldwide distributionnetwork set up each year. 50,000 liters ships to Europe, Canada, USA, Japan andSouth Korea.
Are argan oil and Moroccan oil the same?
Argan oil has even a greater potential at the Souk el Ahad market in Agadir. Vendorssell honey, soap lotion and spreads all made with Argan oil. Researchersanalyze these Berber products whose recipes handed down through the centuries. Subida Charu, a professor in the largest university in Rabat has made someamazing discoveries. Why is Argan oil that much important? We’ve been able toconfirm some scientific effects that the oil has a hydrating effect on theskin, and the oil contains a very high concentration of unsaturated fattyacids. It also provides a lot of moisture that’s in the van.
Studiesprove that Argan has an anti-aging effect due to its high concentrationof tocopheryls which are in effect antioxidants. The Argan oil containspractically three times as much vitamin E as olive oil, but people donot use oil in cosmetics. Scientists already discover that it can fightcardiovascular disease. Studies are currently underway to test theeffectiveness of oil in preventing cancer. International companies have alreadyregistered over 40 patents involving Argan oil, but Morocco has a little benefit. The government creates laws to ensure that the country profits fromsuch patents in future. Berber women are oblivious to what the pharmaceuticaland cosmetic companies make with their oil, but the money they receive haschanged their lives. They’re now financially independent, and often earn morethan their husbands which increases the woman’s self-confidence.
Argan oil has changed a lot of women’s lives.
A lot of women now want tolearn how to read and write because almost half of all Moroccans areilliterate. Illiteracy rates among rural women are even higher. They aredifferent than before, back when they were illiterate and naive. Through the coop, they learn a lot. Now, they can communicate and negotiate with anyone.Women can use their income to send their children to school. They can go andbuy new things without having to ask their husbands for money. These womenestablish a tree nursery because Argan seedlings need to be nurtured asrainfall is unreliable in Morocco. The independence these women of is relianton the survival of the Argan trees in 10 years time, and these trees expect tobear fruit for the first time. they are an investment in the future.