The Berber women who work and run the fair-trade cooperatives are grateful for the opportunity to earn a fare wage. Many years ago, it was the men who produced and sold argan oil. In 2002, the Moroccan government gave the local Berber women support to establish their own cooperatives to manufacture argan oil. These co-ops empower women who now earn a steady income with yearly bonuses and good working conditions. During an eight hour day, they rotate jobs and have regular breaks.
Argan oil takes many long hours of physical work for the Berber women to produce. In the cooperative, it takes three days and sixteen pounds of argan nuts for one woman to make just one liter of Zweena Pure Argan Oil. Because of the long hours of work to produce the oil and the isolated location of the Moroccan Argan forest, Argan oil is considered precious and rare.
Below are a few of the wonderful ladies we visit during our many trips to Morocco: Yamna, Khadija, Zahra, Fatima and Fatoma.