by Jude Jacob Kayton July 01, 2020
This month we are proud to launch our 100% Organic Argan Oil, the ingredient that is at the heart of our products and brand. We wanted to tell you a little more about the origins of argan and where the oil itself comes from. Read on to find out more.
In the 1970s, argan trees were in danger of extinction due to overgrazing. Dr. Zoubida Charrouf, professor of Organic Chemistry at Mohammed V. University-Agdal set out to save the argan tree. She needed people to see the value of the tree and its oil. Once they understood its value, they would work to protect the argan forest. Charrouf began by researching the oil and publishing over 150 articles about its beneficial properties. She also needed people to help her on her mission. The women of Southern Morocco who traditionally harvested the argan fruit and produced the oil would be her partners. At the time, these women worked separately on their family’s land. Charrouf knew that centralizing the women’s efforts in cooperatives would create more efficient ways to produce the oil as well as empower these women both socially and economically.
FRÉ uses argan oil that is harvested from the cooperatives created thanks to the incredible work of Dr. Zoubida Charrouf. In addition, FRÉ is a partner of the High Atlas Foundation (HAF). Together, FRÉ and HAF work to reforest the region by planting argan trees. Thanks to you, we have planted 33,000 trees to date. We plant a tree for every set sold, and for every bottle of 100% Organic Argan Oil.
Today, the women at the argan cooperatives enjoy a better quality of life while harvesting the oil. The profit benefits their families and their community. The women of the argan cooperatives are proud to run their own business from start to finish: they dry the argan fruit and extract the nuts. Then, they crack the nuts to reveal the kernels and press them to release the oil. Next, they work with international customers, setting prices, packaging and shipping the oil.
Empowerment through argan
Dr. Zoubida Charrouf saw the need to save the argan tree and empower women in Southern Morocco. She united these goals by raising awareness about the beneficial properties of argan oil and organizing women into cooperatives to produce it. Today, FRÉ Skincare advocates Charrouf’s vision, partnering with HAF and working with the Izourane Women’s Cooperative to continue to plant trees and support women’s empowerment.
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