Our impact until now
Given the current dynamics of international trade in Shea butter no woman in West Africa can make a living of Shea butter processing. Toontibo has been founded to change this situation. Toontibo in Dagomba language means ‘Gradually moving forward in a positive manner’. This is exactly what we have been doing over the past eight years. Our focus is to work with the actuality of a situation, knowing that there is no quick and simple solution to the complex imbalances deeply ingrained in the global trade.
We have established a solid relationship with the Dagomba tribe and entered into a true partnership-based collaboration where we see each other as equal partners in adding value throughout the entire supply chain.
Over the past 5 years Dipaliya Women’s Association has produced more than 150.000 kg Shea butter on contract base for international traders and companies.
By purchasing materials and machines we have reduced the processing costs for the women from 80% to 20% of their earnings. From 2020 onwards the processing costs for the women processors will be reduced to zero.
In 2019 we have built and opened a large center for traditional handcraft of Shea butter. The center with over 20 buildings and facilities has been built within six months and within budget. The center is free from debts and claims in legal ownership by the women’s cooperative.
In 2019 Dipaliya has processed their first container of Shea butter (20.000kg) in the center independently.
We have exported the Shea butter to the Netherlands and refined it for sales in the international Business-to-Business (cosmetics and food) market.
We have removed 13 trees to build the constructions in the Shea butter processing center. To compensate we have planted 400 new trees.
We meet the community at the level of their needs and manage the center in alignment with community values and Chieftaincy style. Because of this the Chiefs and the communities have actively shown their full support and engagement.
The women and communities are empowered to become self-sufficient through learning by doing. To facilitate this process we have developed an ongoing Action Learning program.
The opening of the center has made national tv, radio and newspapers. For months local radio has been praising this initiative as an example to follow by other communities.
With Toontibo we have established a Netherlands based trading company, co-owned by the women processors in Ghana. Toontibo is run by Western professionals with many years of experience.