Shea Determination brings new Lending Product

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For the first time we have approved a facility for a shea butter buyer. Based in Derbyshire, Akoma UK is a skincare company with a difference. Founder Angus Klufio explains why:

"At Akoma, we choose to do business in a way that benefits everyone involved from the ethical sourcing of raw ingredients to providing all natural skin care and spa products that are of high quality and great value. And in doing so, we're committed to having a positive impact on emerging economies in the developing world, particularly in Ghana."

Akoma sources all of its shea butter from the Akoma Co-operative in Ghana, which Angus himself helped to establish. Collecting, processing, and selling shea nuts and shea butter at the Akoma Cooperative in Ghana is an important source of income for women in the community.

Angus continues:
"The workers harvest, gather and prepare the raw ingredients in a way that does not disturb the local ecosystem. Similar co-ops are being developed to provide employment for those who wish to rise up above the abject poverty so common in their villages."

In addition to setting up the co-operative, Angus was also instrumental in securing the co-operative's organic and Fairtrade certifications.

As both organisations continue to grow, the Akoma Co-operative plans to renovate the local primary school which is currently dilapidated and incomplete. Over the next five years the groups plan to use their Fairtrade Premium for educational purposes, developing local facilities for children. The aim is to include a library, IT centre, desks and other necessary school equipment. By supporting Angus and Akoma here in the UK, Shared Interest is able to simultaneously support the development of Akoma in Ghana.

When describing his work and the motivation behind Akoma, Angus said:
"Akoma represents a new breed of companies that focus on fair prices, good working conditions, sustainability and fair terms of trade."

He continued: "We have been able to develop some wonderful relationships on our journey to help those who are in developing countries. There is great positivity when we work with organisations such as Shared Interest, who have similar visions as Akoma. They have provided ongoing support for Akoma to grow and develop and share our belief in working towards making a difference in people's lives."

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