A network of cooperatives in the Arganeraie
Trip from Agadir: 30 minutes
Are you interested in discovering how Argan oil is produced? Several cooperatives offer visits to the production sites, so do not hesitate to enjoy this experience during your stay! As responsible consumers, a visit to a cooperative will teach you a lot about argan and the work and daily life of women employed in cooperatives.
Why is this experience / visit so important during your Souss Massa tour?
- Because the history of a cooperative always begins with the courageous idea of a group of people.
- Because the cooperative provides a suitable space which can make an impressive contribution to the empowerment, confidence and self-esteem of those concerned.
- Because we can help these cooperatives combine social and economic objectives in a sustainable way.
- Last but not least, because the products, food and cosmetic argan oil, seed oils for cosmetic use, creams, amlou and honey are all of very good quality and certified organic.
Since the 1990s, several structures (associations, NGOs, international cooperation projects) have jointly and successively allowed the creation of women’s cooperatives for the development of argan oil. The “concept” of argan cooperatives to be part of a sustainable development approach for the Arganeraie territory was thus put in place. Taking advantage of the marketing boom on the virtues of Argan Oil, many female-run agricultural cooperatives linked to the Arganeraie have been created in the region and have enabled this oil to meet the quality standards sold nationally and internationally.
If the initial objective of these cooperatives is to improve the lives of these women through sustainable income, cooperative stores for everyday consumer products, improved health thanks to the machines, kindergarten in the cooperative, access to healthcare for their families, access to loans, literacy courses….. then the future of these small structures remains weakened by the multiplication of intermediaries in the marketplace.
The fruits (affyach) of the argan tree are transformed into a food and cosmetic oil. The manufacturing process is based on so-called feminine know-how and in particular on the crushing of the fruits in order to extract the kernels which are then crushed to obtain oil. Oil extraction is always done in several stages:
- Harvesting Argan Nuts and drying
- Crushing (the most famous stage where the kernels are extracted using precisely handled stones)
- Oil extraction
- Settling and filtering
The production of one liter of oil requires the treatment of forty kilos of Argan nuts which must be shelled manually. Fortunately, the region’s cooperatives can count on these courageous women.