Demand for Argan Oil in the cosmetics industry threatens natural resource native only to Morocco

Argan oil, known as “Morocco’s Gold” has become one of the most well-known and prized oils in the cosmetic industry, given the skin and beauty healing properties of this nut oil which comes from the Argan tree, native in the world only to Morocco.

Getting oil from the fruit of the argan tree involves drying it, extracting the nuts, cracking them to reveal the kernels, and pressing them to release the oil. The process of extracting the oil is a tradition that has been passed down to Native Moroccans, especially women, through the generations.

Previously, Berber women in small family businesses would collect the argan fruit and extract its oil. Male family members would then sell the oil in local markets or exchange it for sugar and other goods. In recent years, women’s co-operatives have been created to meet the surge in demand. These co-operatives provide the women with an income, as well as a social experience and improved status.

But as argan oil’s popularity grows globally, there is concern among locals who have harvested the product for hundreds of years about the cosmetic industry’s intentions and demand for this prized oil. In addition, the argan tree remains under threat from overuse, deforestation and even goats. The below news clip examines some of the issues.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea

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