Ingredient Supplier Profiles
Miessence gathers its ingredients from the best organic suppliers all over the world many of which are Fair Trade. The stories behind our global ingredients are very special and we would like to share a few with you.
Miessence’s Certified Organic Fair Trade Shea Butter is harvested by hand in a traditional hunter-gatherer community near the village of Wa in Western Africa. This part of the world provides the ideal growing conditions for shea trees.
The shea tree grows wild and uncultivated, and therefore, no chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers or hazardous substances come into contact with the trees. Organic certification has also ensured all standards are met.
When the shea fruits ripen, they drop to the ground where the women proceed to collect them by hand. Once collected, the fruits are dried in the sun in order to bring out their natural oils. The fruit is then roasted by open fire using dead wood and bracken collected by the village women.
After the fruit is roasted it is ground by hand, a time consuming and difficult task. Once ground, the fruit is hand kneaded to produce the soft butter.
Ready for transport to Miessence, the butter is then packaged into sterile plastic bags and carried in baskets. Using their community’s own hand woven baskets (which also creates jobs for the village), the women are able to transport the finished shea butter.
The nut is cracked open and then dried in the sun. This is followed by simple processing that consists of the fruit being hand ground until the consistency is soft butter that is ready for use by Miessence.
Traditional uses for freshly made shea butter include skin protection and moisturizing, healing burns, preventing stretch marks, hair conditioning, and soap making. Shea butter also provides an edible vegetable fat for cooking, used in much the same way as westerners use dairy butter.
Miessence is pleased to providing well paying jobs for the people of this beautiful village. The children of the Wa community in Ghana will carry on the tradition of gathering shea fruits and earning a fair income.
Our organic shea butter has received FLO Certification (Fairtrade Labeling Organization International).
Certified Organic Fair Trade Frankincense Essential Oil
The dry arid lands of Somalia, where very little vegetation grows, is the ideal environment for the harvesting frankincense, of one of the world’s most distinctive aromatic oils. The supplier of our Miessence organic frankincense worked on a community project with the Samburu people to help them gain organic certification and create jobs harvesting organic frankincense oil.
The Samburu women have very well trained eyes to spot the resinous gum which is collected from deep within the branches. Once the fragrant milky resin naturally exudes from the bark, it hardens to form a solid gum.
After a day of harvesting, the donkeys help transport the buckets laden with gum back to the collection center for sorting & grading. The frankincense gum is sorted and cleaned of any twigs and debris. Then it is graded by size and color before it is steam distilled.
While Frankincense harvesting supplements their income, traditionally the Samburu are semi-nomadic pastoralists whose entire society revolves around rearing livestock. The villagers move between southern Somalia and northern Kenya, relocating every five to six weeks in search of more grassy land suitable for grazing.