I have spent many years in Morocco, it’s a truly amazing country, great people, wonderful scenery, with many natural aromatic plants, and of course the argan oil, I began to import argan oil to UK in 2011, and now sell it in UK and Europe, alongside other natural products….
The wonderful Argan tree (Argania Spinosa), which grows almost exclusively in a small south-western region of Morocco, it produces a nut that when opened the argan oil is produced …
European cosmetic companies began buying argan oil in the 1980s, and it’s now a big business. It was like the gold rush, in which scams and fakes are plentiful. Sellers might mix sunflower seed oil or other oils with argan to make it go further, and if argan oil has a bouquet of goat, it’s been made with the argan kernels taken from goats’ excrement after snacking on the fruits….
I found my supplier in Casablanca – well established laboratories, a family-run business; the family is Berber and comes from the argan forest region. Their interest in regulating the quality and labour practices of the argan oil business is both business and personal.
On meeting the family I liked what I heard “we have only our people and our natural resources. We have so many aromatic plants and argan oil, which is only found in Morocco.”
After hearing rumours about possible argan tree plantings in Israel and Mexico, this family helped register argan oil as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) the first in all of Africa. The designation ensures various foods originate from a specific region.
“I wanted to get the highest quality that is certified, verified, and more so “pure” they had all the correct certifications, I looked no further”…….
For more than a decade, oils have been made in female-owned and run co-operatives, funded in part by foreign and domestic governments, NGO’s, and grants. The co-operatives are designed to give poor women in remote regions that are uneducated, even illiterate, financial independence. However some co-operatives are legitimately female-run and -owned; others are not.