Sustainable International Trade

Natural and climate strong products
B4trees sells 5 different types of natural oils from West Africa, both at large and small scale. We specialize in sourcing green oils produced by women groups in Burkina Faso in West Africa. The oils are unrefined, and some come with Ecocert, the French certificate of ecologic cosmetics.

We claim our oils as green, because:
Our oils originate from seed of trees adapted to Sahel, and off course we do not use red listed species
More trees are being planted since the seed/oils have commercial value
More trees fix more CO2
More trees give better living conditions for flora and fauna and higher biodiversity

Contacts for buying oils
We supply full service, securing hygienic packaging and logistics to any part of the world. Our oils can be delivered exactly as our customers may want, e.g., in 1000-liter containers, 50-liter containers, or packaged in cardboard boxes containing 1-2 kg plastic bags. We can even pack products in Burkina Faso, using the packaging you wish to see on the shelf in your store.

Large scale
For large scale purchase contact Anders Bjørnkjær-Nielsen:

Small scale
It is also possible to purchase oils in a smaller amount.
For small scale purchase contact Haoua Ouedraogo: 

Value of the shea tree
The shea tree, Vitellaria paradoxa, grows naturally in sub-Sahara African savannas. In a climate perspective the shea tree is important, primarily because its commercial value encourages protection of trees, binding CO2 in the traditionally deforested region of the sub-Saharan Africa. The commercial value of the shea butter empowers the women groups, whom we cooperate with, in their struggle against poverty.

Cosmetic usage

Shea butter is extracted from the shea nuts (botanically they are large seeds from shea fruits). Traditionally shea butter has been used in Africa as cooking butter, cream for body and hair, and medical balm for cuts and burns.
Shea butter is widely used in cosmetic products. Shea butter is quickly absorbed by the skin and has mild sun protective properties. It has remarkable nourishing and moisturizing effects, making shea butter a valued ingredient in skin care and hair products. The butter is also edible and used at large scale for chocolate production.

Shea butter production.
Photo by Freja Lykke Herrik.

Shea butter from nut to butter.
Photo by Anders Bjørnkjær-Nielsen.

Shea butter.
Photo by Anne Mette Lykke.

Value of the baobab tree
The Baobab tree, Adansonia digitata, is considered of great value in many African societies for multiple reasons. It is considered a “super food” tree as the leaves are used as a leafy vegetable, the pulp of the fruit is used for drinks, and the seeds are processed for oil. Locals make garments and fishing nets from the bark.

Cosmetic usage
Baobab oil is extracted from seeds from the baobab fruit that contain small quantities of oil, which can be pressed out. The oil is traditionally used for food and cosmetics. When the oil has been extracted, the remaining ‘seed cake’ can be used as for animal fodder.

Baobab oil is moisturizing and nourishing when used on the skin. It is hypoallergenic and it is quickly absorbed. Hence, the oil is very suitable for use in skincare and is especially used in anti-age formulas. It moisturizes the skin and boosts the healing process of skin damaged by sunburns or skin diseases, such as acne.

Baobab tree.
Photo by Anders Bjørnkjær-Nielsen.

Baobab fruit and powder.
Photo by Anders Bjørnkjær-Nielsen.

Value of the marula tree
The marula tree, Sclerocarya birrea, is indigenous to the Sudano-Sahelian range of West Africa. The marula tree has great value in local economies. The fruits are edible and used for juice and alcoholic drinks and several parts of the tree has medicinal value. It is used increasingly for commercial trade, providing a much-needed livelihood alternative for impoverished rural communities.

Cosmetic usage
Marula oil is extracted from the seeds of the marula fruit. The seeds have a high oil content and has traditionally been used for food and cosmetics. Marula oil is also used in cosmetics internationally. Its light texture, rich moisture, and skin healing properties have made it a popular treatment for skin, hair, and nails.

Marula fruit.
Photo by Anne Mette Lykke.

Value of the moringa tree
The moringa tree, Moringa oleifera, is found in Africa and Asia and carries the nick name ”Tree of Life”. Globally the moringa tree is considered one of the most useful trees in the world. The fruit contains many important nutrients, and it is used for food products as well as cosmetics and medicinal purposes. The leaves of the moringa are used in tea, spices, and powdered dietary supplements, which makes it a valuable tree for the rural communities in West Africa.

Cosmetic usage
Moringa oil is extracted from the seeds. It is widely used as a cosmetic product. It works as a softening, moisturizing, and very nourishing agent when used in skin cream, hair balm, and soap.

Moringa trees.
Photo by Anders Bjørnkjær-Nielsen.

Moringa seeds.
Photo by Anders Bjørnkjær-Nielsen.

Value of the balanites tree
The balanites tree, Balanites aegyptiaca, is one of the most important climate protecting tree species in Africa. It is tolerant of different soil types from sand to clay and grows in semi-arid areas, and therefore it is used to fight sand drift. Flowers, fruits, and leaves are edible, and the tree is producing seeds even in periods of drought. Besides of food production it has medical properties, which motivates the local people to protect the trees.

Cosmetic usage
Balanites oil is extracted from the seeds of the balanites fruits. The balanites oil is used as an ingredient in lotions and hair balms, where the oil softens and moisturizes the skin. The oil is highly absorbable by the skin and is also used in treatment of acne.

Balanites tree with fruits.
Photo by Anders Bjørnkjær-Nielsen.

Balanites fruits and seeds.
Photo by Anders Bjørnkjær-Nielsen.

Read more
To read more about fatty acid composition and potentials of oils and fats from West African Trees, read this article:
Potential of Unconventional Seed Oils and Fats from West African Trees: A Review of Fatty Acid Composition and Perspectives