Biodiversity / Food / Water

December 23, 2012


Shea Butter Soap Sales Support Forest Conservation and Women's Empowerment

Keywords: Ecosystems / Biodiversity Manufacturing industry 

JFS/Shea Butter Soap Sales Support Forest Conservation and Women's Empowerment
Copyright A Dansé Co.

A Dansé Co., a Japanese company established by Ms. Yuko Morishige in 2009 for the development and sales of shea butter soap, is attracting attention with its activities to achieve its corporate goals of contributing to forest conservation, women's independence, poverty reduction, and measures against AIDS in Comoé Province in Burkina Faso, a West African country facing rapid forest degradation in recent years.

A Dansé purchases shea butter at a fair price from women in community-based forest management groups, which are supported by the Participatory and Sustainable Forest Management in the Province of Comoe of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to produce soap at the Training center for women infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, which is one part of the Centre RAKIETA de Lutte Contre le SIDA. It then flies the product to Japan to be inspected and packaged in Kobe by Marubishi Natural Soap Factory, an established manufacturer of additive-free soap. The shea butter soap has been on sale in Japan since 2010.

Ms. Yuko Manabe, of the environmental research department of a major Japanese think tank, Daiwa Institute of Research, released on August 16, 2012, a case study of A Dansé activities as assistance to a developing country with a focus on women's empowerment. Her report says that, although the soap sales are still small, the initiative is having good effects on local forest conservation and support for women.

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