Outside Ighrem, a small mountain village in the Tiznit Province of Southern Morocco, the Al Amal Women’s Cooperative can be found harvesting the cactus oil included in our new Cactus Flower collection. The oil is extracted from the tiny seeds of the Opuntia Ficus Indica (Prickly Pear) Cactus, which thrives outside of the village.
The Al Amal Women’s Cooperative, founded in 1998 to provide local Berber women with economic opportunities through oil production, consists of 60 members, all Berber women. This ethnic group is native to North & West Africa. The women handle the entire process – from harvesting, extraction, to production of the rare oil.
The main goal of the Al Amal Women’s Cooperative is to guarantee living wages for the members, many of whom are widowed or otherwise socially disadvantaged. They are able to find fair work & a sense of community & belonging within the cooperative.
Additionally, the Cooperative takes part in profit sharing so that the women are guaranteed fair & equal wages. They are also provided with free educational opportunities such as literacy courses, as adult illiteracy is a common issue in the region. The women are also able to further their skills & training by taking part in courses related to operations such as quality control of the oil & cooperative management.
Here at Pacha Soap Co., we thoughtfully source our ingredients to make a difference. The production of the valuable cactus oil is sustainable, ethical & provides these women with economic & social opportunity.