At Akamuti it’s important to us that our ingredients not only deliver results to our customers, but also provide a fair income to the people who produce them.
Take the olive oil in our Olive & Avocado Night Cream – it’s the world’s first Fairtrade-certified olive oil. Pressed on the day the olives were picked, this organic oil is helping farmers to support their families. We buy it directly from Zaytoun – a community interest company that was specifically set up to provide a reliable, fair income for farmers in Palestine.
One of those farmers, Mohammad Irsheid explains the benefits that Zaytoun has made to his family:
“Fairtrade has had a big impact on my life in all sorts of ways. First of all, I started receiving higher prices, and that made a huge difference to our family’s farming income. I stopped worrying about searching for local traders that would take my olive oil with conditions and at low prices. Now it all goes to one buyer and we get paid during the harvest instead of waiting months. We are now our own masters. In short, Fairtrade made farming viable for us as Palestinian farmers.”
Mohammad has been able to spend some of his profits on planting new olive and almond trees. Farming is one of the main industries in Palestine, although many people have lost their land (and therefore their livelihoods), due to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. Zaytoun supports the Trees for Life project run by the Palestine Fair Trade Association. Trees for Life provides farmers with saplings, for example to replace those destroyed by the Israeli military. Almost 100,000 saplings have been planted altogether.
Olive groves are usually passed down through the generations, with many of the trees living for hundreds of years. There is a saying in Palestine – “They planted so we eat. We plant so they eat.” Olive oil is very sustainable, particularly when it’s organic, as producing it doesn’t harm the original plant.
At Akamuti we have a particular passion for tree-sourced ingredients. In fact, our name means ‘little tree’ in the Bemba language of Zambia. It also has a dual meaning – ‘A little bit of medicine’, because in many parts of Africa trees and medicine are interlinked. We like to think that every Akamuti product is a little bit of medicine in itself – helping to keep our skin and hair healthy.
If you’d like to support Mohammad and other farmers like him, do take a look at our Olive & Avocado Night Cream, Shea & Olive Body Butter and pure olive oil. You could also help to ensure the livelihoods of farmers for generations to come, by making a donation to Trees for Life.
All images are copyrighted and provided with kind permission by Zaytoun.