At Green River Botanicals, when we can’t source an ingredient locally, we find the next best thing. In sourcing ingredients for our salve, we came across a company we couldn’t wait to work with.

Baraka Shea Butter is a small Canadian/Ghanaian family owned business located on Vancouver Island in Canada and founded by husband and wife team, Wayne Dunn (Canadian/Irish) and Gifty Serbeh-Dunn (Ghanaian/Canadian). They are passionate about connecting high quality local products to a global market, and bringing positive impact to communities.

Baraka Shea Butter is made by women in Northern Ghana, and is Community Certified Fair Trade. This means that the women who make the products meet each year and review their relationship with Baraka Shea Butter. At that time, they conduct a review and decide whether or not to let the company use the Community Certified Fair Trade logo for the coming year.

Fair treatment includes:

  • Payment of a premium above market price
  • Negotiation of price and relationship as a group
  • A respectful and dignified relationship between Baraka and the women
  • Support for community, family, youth, education and other priorities as identified by the women’s groups
  • Priorities and issues as identified by the women’s group
  • Baraka also works with Amina Yussef, a local development practitioner, to train the women’s groups on basic micro business strategy, economics, and other activities that will allow them to generate income.

Norther Ghana community members discuss working with Baraka.

In addition to supporting women, community, and fair trade practices, Baraka helps support educational initiatives. They help provide school uniforms for children in Ghana where a uniform is required, contracting local tailors to measure and sew them, they help with tuition and other costs for high school girls in Northern Ghana, and provide sports equipment for children.

As a small, woman-owned business, these values are just as important to us as the quality of the product, and if you’ve tried our salve you know the shea butter that these women make is some of the best in the world. There is a lot more information on Baraka, and the initiatives they are involved in, than we can include in a short blog, so check out their website for the full scoop.

Try our salve for yourself, and know that each ingredient was chosen with care, and with our local and global communities in mind.