Progressing on responsible sourcing

engaging almost 300,000 women

All about better sourcing of shea in the Kolo Nafaso supply chain

Shea is an important source of income for an estimated four million women in western Africa, where they collect and sell shea kernels. AAK sources shea through our direct women’s group supply chain Kolo Nafaso, which now engages almost 300,000 women.

A women's groups supply chain

In addition to the traditional shea supply chain, AAK sources shea from our direct women’s group supply chain Kolo Nafaso. Since 2009, the program focuses on poverty alleviation and women empowerment through direct trade, interest-free micro credits, and training of shea-collecting women in West Africa.

Women are completely free to decide who they want to sell their kernels to, but Kolo Nafaso offers a long-term partnership with a buying guarantee. 

Next to pre-financing and training, Kolo Nafaso also offers: 

  • A fully ethical and transparent business relationship
  • Freedom for women to do business, a buying guarantee
  • Training in better processing and business practices
  • A fully segregated and traceable supply chain

While Kolo Nafaso directly contributes to poverty alleviation, it also contributes to women empowerment by confirming the economic value of shea and strengthening women’s role as economic actors in their communities.  

The model

  • No plantations - agroforestry
  • Direct sourcing from women
  • Extension officers providing extra training and support

Our milestones and roadmap to 2025

Our milestones and roadmap to 2025 shows our progress in the journey towards sustainable shea in the Kolo Nafaso supply chain, as well as our ambitions still ahead. 

Sustainability KPIs in the Kolo Nafaso supply chain

Deeply understanding our supply base

The Kolo Nafaso program achieved 100 percent traceability and a fully segregated supply chain at origin in 2021. 

Engaging with women collectors

The program includes a total of more than 240,000 women registered at the end of the season. Our main challenge in 2023 has been to navigate the difficult security situation in Burkina Faso, where Kolo Nafaso originated in 2009. We will strive to maintain its operation in regions where we assess this to be feasible, together with our security advisors. Our Kolo Nafaso program is still growing in Ghana and Ivory Coast.

We also continue our journey of training the women.

Driving impact beyond our supply base 

AAK started to support Saha Global’s work in 2020 and contributed to their Emergency Water Fund (EWF). In 2023, we funded five new water treatment units in our Kolo Nafaso communities in Ghana, achieving 80 percent of the overall ambition for 2025. 

Contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

Learn more about how AAK's activities contribute to the above SDGs in our latest update on responsible sourcing of shea.