According to the UK-Ghanaian organisation, it is the first cooperative in Ghana exporting to the rest of the world to have gained Fairtrade status under the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO).
It is also certified organic by the UK certification body the Soil Association, both for the wild harvesting of the Shea nuts and the processing of the raw Shea butter.
The organisation was founded by British Ghanaian Angus Klufio in 2005 in an attempt to alleviate poverty in the country, and has its own Shea butter processing facility in Pusu Namogo, the Upper East region of Ghana.
Supplying both Shea-based products and unrefined Shea butter, the company claims the Pusu Namogo facility has the capacity to produce eight metric tonnes of Shea butter in a day with two warehouses to store finished products and raw materials.
Quality and reliability
Akoma’s Joanne Midgley told CosmeticsDesign how the company can ensure quality and reliability of the supply chain. “All the women have been trained to produce Raw Shea Butter that meets international standards.”
The company worked with ProKarité an NGO working in Mali who helped provide training to ensure product quality, she continued.
In addition, she explained that quality is ensured by the company’s two certification systems as all collection and production procedures had to be approved by the Soil Association and FLO.
Regarding the reliability of supply, a factor that can be problematic for small scale suppliers wanting to break into the cosmetics industry, Midgley said this is possible due to the integrated supply chain.
Akoma maintains traceability and control of the product from the field to the end customer, which ensures our customers receive their products at the right time, she explained.
Akoma also supply organic coconut oil but it is not Fairtrade certified as the FLO does not yet have a policy applicable to the product, Midgley said.