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The Dignity of Income

[POSTED ON: 30th April 2021]

Hear from Gifty Serbeh-Dunn, our co-founder, about how Baraka started and its founding values. “Income not charity…” Those words and that theme, repeated frequently by women in communities where I grew up, really formed the foundation for Baraka. I left Ghana as a teenager to go to school in Canada. Whenever I went home, I would always try to bring… [read more]

Supporting the Holy Month of Ramadan

[POSTED ON: 15th April 2021]

With the fasting starting for Ramadan we are meeting with the women who produce Baraka Shea Butter and making a ceremonial contribution to support them. For me it feels great because last year I missed being with them to celebrate Eid, the feast at the end of Ramadan, because I was in Canada. It is one of my favourite things… [read more]

Shea Butter Shouldn’t Stink

[POSTED ON: 19th February 2021]

Stop Stinky Shea!  You don’t want shea butter with a horrible smell and neither do your customers.  Learn more… Do you really need chemically refined shea? Why does shea butter stink? Preventing stinky shea How Baraka ensures consistent AAA quality “Your shea butter smells nice”. I hear that so often. I run into many who have been using refined shea… [read more]

Know Your Shea

[POSTED ON: 17th February 2021]

Shea butter is seen by many as a miracle ingredient in soaps and skincare products, and it is. But it can be confusing too. There are a few ‘definitive’ classifications and grading systems, most developed by one group or another and lacking a generally accepted standardization. Many terms are used to describe shea butter and many who sell it don’t… [read more]

Why does Baraka carry Palm Oil?

[POSTED ON: 18th July 2020]

I’m often asked this question.  And I appreciate it.  It shows you care about where your ingredients come from and that is important.  We take a lot of pride in bringing products to you that have positive social and environmental impacts – and are thrilled that we have a customer base (and that our customers have a customer base) where… [read more]

Celebrating Eid/Sallah – Breaking the Fast with Chief

[POSTED ON: 28th June 2020]

I try every year to be in northern Ghana at the end of Ramadan.  I enjoy the love, joy and celebration that permeates this special time, and we always try to have special treats for the children. In this video I am breaking the Fast with the Chief, sharing traditional food with them in a centuries old ritual. EID/Sallah, the… [read more]

Baraka Shea Butter creates income opportunities for Upper West women

[POSTED ON: 15th May 2020]

A GNA Feature by D.I. Laary, GNA GENESIS Wa, Oct 20, GNA – Baraka Shea Butter, a small business organisation operating in the Upper West Region, has created sustainable income opportunities for over 400 families and women groups in remote rural communities to improve their social and economic conditions.  In these communities, women are often the primary breadwinners for their… [read more]

Shea Forests Efficiently Sequester Carbon

[POSTED ON: 1st May 2020]

The shea butter industry not only has a positive impact on women and families throughout Ghana, and on your skin and hair when you use products made from it. The Shea Forest has proven to be very efficient at fixing carbon in the soil, helping to reduce global CO2 levels.  The Global Shea Alliance (of which Baraka is part) along… [read more]

Village Market Walkthrough

[POSTED ON: 23rd April 2020]

Market days in rural Ghanaian villages are always interesting.   Women and traders come from all over with their wares.  What they’ve grown, what they’ve made, traditional medicines and crafts and more. Market days are even more interesting when you have someone local who can tell you what things are, what they are for and how they are used. Follow along… [read more]

Hand-Harvesting Cocoa Pods

[POSTED ON: 23rd April 2020]

Watch and listen as this video shows a hard-working Ghanaian lady hand-harvesting cocoa pods from her small holder cocoa farm. Each pod is gathered by hand, hand-carried to village processing areas and then split open the beans extracted, fermented and dried to get it ready to be made into Cocoa Butter (see more on this process here Baraka Cocoa… [read more]

Making Black Soap

[POSTED ON: 23rd April 2020]

Black Soap is an incredible product that is just starting to be known and used in North America Ghanaian women have been making black soap with shea butter for generations.  Taught by their mothers and grandmothers as they were growing up, Ghanaian women make and use black soap. Follow along in this video as we interview Amina Yussif and she… [read more]

The Cocoa Bean Story

[POSTED ON: 3rd March 2020]

Learn about the cocoa bean story, how they are grown and harvested and the women and communities who do the work and earn their livelihood from it. The collection and processing of cocoa beans for Baraka Cocoa Butter is done by smallholder growers in remote villages in Ghana.  Watch and listen as we discuss the process as we stand amongst… [read more]

Whipping the Shea

[POSTED ON: 27th February 2020]

Whipping Shea Butter (not the whipping you think!) Your shea needs to be whipped like this before you can make your lovely whipped body butters and other products Whipping (or churning) Shea Butter is a key step in making it. And it is hard work. After the Shea Nuts (Seeds) are crushed, roasted and then ground to release the oils… [read more]

Driving the Streets of Wa

[POSTED ON: 27th February 2020]

Come with us as we drive through Wa, the Capital of Ghana’s Upper West Region   Many have asked for more information about the communities so come along as we drive across Wa and hear Alfred Akolgo describe what we are seeing and passing through   #KnowAboutShea – a series of informational posts about shea butter and the women, families… [read more]

Making a Mortar and Pestle

[POSTED ON: 27th February 2020]

An elder hand-making a pestle for use in a large mortar and pestle. A lot of work. Amazing craftsmanship passed down through generations. A mortar and pestle is used extensively in cooking and processing in Shea Forest communities. In fact, the traditional way to make shea butter involved crushing the seeds in a large mortar and pestle and then grinding… [read more]

Welcome Dance

[POSTED ON: 5th October 2019]

I love the energy that the women bring to work, meetings and life. The joy and abandon of the dancing and celebrating is contagious. Watch as the women who make Baraka Shea Butter dance to open a meeting and see the women using traditional instruments to support them. Turn up the sound and listen as Amina Yussif explains the Welcome… [read more]

A Walk in the Wa Market

[POSTED ON: 26th August 2019]

Markets are central to community life. Everywhere. Join us as we watch some of the produce go by in the Wa Market (Capital city of Ghana’s Upper West Region) and end by buying some Poona Yams (a delicious, sweet yam – one of my favourites).
Shea Butter is traditionally made into small balls and sold in markets like this

[read more]

Community Water Well

[POSTED ON: 25th August 2019]

#WaterIsLife – true everywhere, and especially in shea butter producing communities on the edge of the Sahara in Northern Ghana. Village wells are the centre of community social and much work activity.

[read more]

What’s That in My Shea?

[POSTED ON: 14th August 2019]

What’s that in my shea?  Don’t worry.  Baraka Shea Butter may occasionally have remnants of the Shea Nut solids or other foreign matter because of the traditional methods used for processing. This can be avoided through a mechanized process, using solvents to extract shea butter and ripping the economic impact from the women and communities and passing it off to… [read more]

Unrefined and Raw Doesn’t Always Mean Pure

[POSTED ON: 7th May 2019]

Know your Shea Butter Better: Words are confusing…

Handcrafted and traditionally made. Those words will lead you to shea butter that has all the natural goodness and maximizes the benefits to the hardworking women who make it. Raw and unrefined can lead you to strange places in the shea butter world.

Did you know that raw and unrefined are often used to describe industrially processed and chemically extracted shea butter?

[read more]

Community Impact: A Sustainable Approach (Tabiasi Women’s Enterprise Centre)

[POSTED ON: 24th April 2019]

All community impact is not created equal. Charity and philanthropy are too often one and done, with minimal sustainable impact. Far better to create sustainable and replicable impact by aligning business, social and environmental impact, and by fostering local ownership and engagement. It is often much easier just to give something, bask in the appreciation and adoration of the recipient… [read more]

From Shea Trees to Baraka Shea Butter

[POSTED ON: 20th February 2019]

From Shea Trees to Baraka Shea Butter. Shea Trees to Shea Fruit to Shea Nuts to crushing, roasting, grinding, whipping, finishing, packaging and on to you.  A process that creates an amazing product, and impacts lives, families and communities along the way.  Learn more – and watch the video!

[read more]

Colours of Baraka Shea Butter

[POSTED ON: 10th October 2018]

Shea Butter ranges in colour from gray/white through to buttery yellow. The properties of the shea butter are not affected by colouration. The colours are caused by several factors; the mineral content of the soil where the shea tree it came from grows, the time of the crop (seeds from early shea fruit seem to produce more yellowish coloured shea… [read more]

I’m Off To Kperisi, Ghana for a Month

[POSTED ON: 6th June 2018]

And I’m off… to Kperisi.   As you are reading this I am just arriving in the community where Baraka Shea Butter is made. And for a bit longer than normal – so be ready for a blizzard of posts and photos…from my hands to your screen…   (OK, not as exciting as getting the Kperisi Women’s amazing Baraka Shea Butter direct… [read more]

Great time, Great Memories

[POSTED ON: 19th November 2014]

I’m in Ghana’s capital city of Accra today and thinking back to mid-October last year when I was able to take a couple of days and head up to Bolgatanga in Ghana’s Upper East Region and go back out to meet with the basket making groups that I had met in early September. In September I went out with my… [read more]

School supplies for Kperisi

[POSTED ON: 12th November 2014]

Yesterday I was in the Staples Store in Duncan, BC, near where I live and I saw they had a sale on backpacks and pens.  Actually it was a discount bin full of them. The management at the local Staples has always been really supportive of our efforts to support children and education in Ghana so I approached them about… [read more]

Baraka Shea Butter and Ebola

[POSTED ON: 13th October 2014]

First, thank you to everyone who has contacted us with concern for the women, families and communities where Baraka Shea Butter is made. Fortunately, there has NOT yet been a case of Ebola in Ghana. Some have asked about the danger of Ebola and Baraka Shea Butter. There is absolutely ZERO RISK. 1. There are no incidences of Ebola in… [read more]

Shea Nuts: Picking the Pits!

[POSTED ON: 7th October 2014]

Question:  if you look under a Shea tree sometime between May and July, what will you see?  Last week’s answer might have been children, picking the delicious shea fruit to eat and sell. This week, we can add in the tell-tale signs of all the fruit that got left behind, signs left by an unusual ally…   …animals! You see, in… [read more]


[POSTED ON: 23rd June 2014]

In our last post, you learned about the difference between Refined vs Unrefined Shea Butter. Today, we will discuss Shea Fruit. Question: Where will you find one of the world’s most delicious fruits? Answer: Northern Ghana. And yes, of course we’re talking about the Shea Fruit, the plump greenish-yellow edible delight – tasty, delicate and yummy – which people say is like a… [read more]

Baraka Buys Bolga Baskets

[POSTED ON: 13th May 2014]

In about 2010 we were approached by a wonderful local business, The Community Farm Store to supply them with Bolga Baskets from Ghana. They were already a Shea Butter client and great friends, and we were already importing Shea Butter from northern Ghana so it all made sense. Little did we know the learning and adventure that it would take us on!!… [read more]

The Women of Kperisi, Ghana

[POSTED ON: 6th May 2014]

I just read my first blog post. Maybe I came out of it with my foot in my mouth? Or close? So much of what Baraka Supplies does and is about has to do with women and families and communities. And yet when I look at my first blog post, the pictures were about me and men! Oops! This time I’ll share a… [read more]

Jumping In Keyboard First

[POSTED ON: 3rd May 2014]

Eyes squinted, heart pumping, fear rising… That’s how I feel as I jump into the world of blogging and online content. I’m much more comfortable figuring out business and development problems or helping communities to identify opportunities. But, I realize that if I am to do my best to fulfil the mission that drove the creation Baraka Supplies then I… [read more]

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