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Showing posts from June, 2014

Goats in trees – a signpost for argan oil

Talk to anyone who’s travelled along the road from Marrakech to Essaouira and they’ll mention goats in trees. Dotted across the landscape between Marrakech, Essaouira and Agadir are thousands of squat yet mighty argan trees (argania spinosa) with twisted, gnarled trucks, its spiny branches often climbed by adventurous goats in search of a nibble of the olive-sized argan fruit. It’s quite a sight to see and one that ever fails to bring a smile to whoever notices.
Argan oil products are becoming increasingly popular in the UK yet Berber women have been cultivating argan for centuries. During a recent trip to Essaouira, Morocco, I wanted to find out more about how argan was extracted and what qualities it has. I visited Afous Argan, an argan oil cooperative 20km from Essaouira on the Route de Marrakech in the Commune Ounagham, which employs only women to produce and sell cosmetics and foods made from locally sourced argan nuts. 
What I noticed from watching the Berber women work, is how ti…