Our story

Toontibo is a Netherlands-based Social Business, started in 2020, co-owned by women processors in Ghana, Africa. The company is exporting and selling Shea butter in UK, EU and US. Toontibo’s purpose is to reverse the value chain in Shea butter trading that adds value to the source, Africa. We call this Return on Extraction.

Toontibo was founded as a result of many years of collaborating with a women’s cooperative called Dipaliya Women’s Association. In 2012 Alain Volz, the initiator of Toontibo, was invited by representative members of the Dagomba tribe. Community leaders expressed their concern about how developmental aid and international trade is not aligned with local needs and habits. What are the expressed needs of the local communities?

  • Respect for the community’s traditional values,
  • Peace and stability in the community,
  • Sufficient income to be able to take care of their families,
  • A safe place to work as a community.

Making handcrafted Shea butter is strongly connected to the tradition of the Dagomba tribe. For centuries mothers have been passing on this skill to their daughters. Making Shea butter gives a woman social dignity and empowers her through the income it generates. However, this tradition is under pressure. Due to the dynamics in international trade women are not sufficiently paid for making Shea butter. In order to change this, we have founded Toontibo; a trading company co-owned by the women producing the Shea butter we are selling.

due to dynamics in international trade women are not paid sufficiently

Our long term vision

The Toontibo business model is a prototype (the next best practice) for a regenerative trading in Shea butter. Current developments such as the Climate Change protests and the Covid-19 crisis show us that change in the way we do business is required to stay profitable in the future.

The younger generations protesting for more action to prevent Global Warming are your consumers that ask for new prototypes such as ours. A good story simply is not good enough anymore; the consumer market is asking retailers and brands to be real, traceable and showing accountability.


  • We believe in developmental aid that can be much more effective and over time even abundant. 
  • We believe in international trade that can be both sustainable and profitable. 
  • We believe in CSR policies that are integrated in the core business of our companies. 
  • We believe your dime can be worth a Dollar for both your company and the communities in Africa. 
  • We believe in offering a win-win-win for the communities in Africa, our clients on the globe and a sustainable future for next generations.
  • We believe Toontibo is a unique trading company that adds high value for all our stakeholders, including Mother Earth.