Producer Profiles

AKOMA - Akoma Cooperative Multipurpose Society

Located in Bolgatanga, a poverty stricken area in the upper east region of Ghana, the Akoma Cooperative Multipurpose Society is comprised of all women working to improve their quality of life. Akoma obtained Fair Trade certification in July 2009. The focus of the cooperative is to eliminate poverty for producers and to raise awareness about ethical sourcing and local production at world market standards.

In this area of Ghana, unemployment is a critical issue. Collecting, processing and selling shea nuts and butter at the Akoma Multipurpose Society is a main source of income for women in the community. The facility at Akoma can produce approximately 8 metric tons of shea butter per day, and store approximately 12,000 bags of shea nuts. The Fair Trade premium ensures that workers receive the most return for their work and can help make sustainable changes in their community.

Akoma community members who were already picking and processing shea nuts have joined this cooperative and received training to begin processing with international trading standards. Participation in the Fair Trade certification program will help members and their families toward a better future.
 

Quotable

The women who are from poor communities like Pusu Namogo are blessed. Many women in our region and elsewhere have over the years worked very hard to put food on our families' tables through farming and other odd jobs. But we end up with an unequal share of income, which in some cases lead to several deficiencies from poor dieting. With Fair Trade, women are assured of receiving a fair price for their hard work.  

Juliana Sampana, Akoma President

Programs

Education a Priority

As a first priority, Akoma will use the premium to renovate the Pusu-Namogo primary school, where the buildings are currently dilapidated and incomplete. Over the next five years, Akoma will use the premium for education and developing facilities for children. This will include a library, information technology center, desks and school equipment.