OLD NAME: UGPPK - Union of Shea Butter Producers
A goal of the UGPPK is to improve women’s living conditions and those of their families by using the Fair Trade premium earned from selling shea butter internationally. Since its creation, the Union has trained nearly 1,800 women in methods of work that improve both the efficiency and sanitary conditions of shea butter production.
Maternity and Emergency Fund
The UGPPK uses Fair Trade premiums for a maternity fund to cover medical expenses and finance members’ maternity leave. A portion of Fair Trade premiums has also been allocated to an emergency fund to be used in case of natural disasters. Should production be affected, the emergency fund –which consists both of a supply of Shea butter products and cash –can be used for emergency financing.
The UGPPK has implemented an efficient semi-industrial production process for churning shear nut butter based on traditional artisanal methods. Members bring their Shea butter from various locations to the centralized Production and Commercialization Center, where Shea butter is homogenized, filtered and stabilized.
Health and Literacy
The UGPPK fights illiteracy and HIV/AIDS. Since the cooperative’s formation, more than 200 women have been taught basic literacy and distributed school supplies to an estimated 80 HIV orphans. Over 500 women producers have been educated about the risks associated with HIV/AIDS.