SheKeeper, a three-year, $ 2 million partnership with USAID, Partnership for Natural Ingredients and Burt’s Bees suppliers of shea and beeswax, aims to diversify the income of shea producers and increase exports from West Africa.
“The partnership allows us to align resources and improve capacity building in shea producing communities, increasing women’s income from bee products and increasing shea fruit yields linked to pollination” said Joseph Funt, head of multi-stakeholder strategy, Partnership for Natural Ingredients. “We are delighted to support SheKeeper’s activities and promote results through the Global Shea Alliance as another way to increase impact through industry commitments. “
The program has the potential to establish an evolving framework for the future, impacting the livelihoods of over 16 million women collectors and processors in the 21 African countries that make up the shea processing industry. SheKeeper will create an opportunity for at least 600 women to expand their skills, opening up new career paths for an entire generation.
In addition to generating business links and increasing the production and sales of shea, beeswax and honey, SheKeeper will help increase Ghanaian exports and create new jobs while building the capacities of 1,200 small operators. Building on long-standing efforts to support women’s groups in shea-growing communities in Ghana, this collaboration helps advance Burt’s Bees and USAID on women’s economic empowerment and development priorities. gender equality.
SheKeeper puts women at the center of beekeeping, a crucial link in the supply chain for many of the ingredients used by Burt’s Bees. In SheKeeper, participants from shea communities choose a beekeeping partner and they will work as a team to manage beehives and collect and sell honey and beeswax.
“SheKeeper fosters community and business partnerships with groups of women shea producers by introducing the multigenerational practice of beekeeping,” said Shannon Hess, responsible sourcing manager at Burt’s Bees. “Beekeeping opens up opportunities for greater economic empowerment of women and youth and increased biodiversity for future generations.”
Burt’s Bees uses over 1,000 natural ingredients grown and processed in over 100 countries. From almond oil in the United States to shea butter in Ghana and Burkina Faso, the brand invests in traceable, transparent and resilient supply chains.
The SheKeeper program expands the brand’s global supply chain investment program, which, along with responsible sourcing assessments and third-party audits, aims to impact more livelihoods 50,000 people through its supply chain by 2025. This is part of their continued commitment to support a supply chain through the empowerment of women and children, the protection of human rights and the provision of resources and education that promote health, safety and biodiversity.