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Entrepreneurship

Venture Competition Team: Argan Oil

April 16, 2013

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    Haley Blake
Team members:
  • Haley Blake B.A. ’12
  • Arlo Malmberg B.A. ’12
  • Renda Nazzal B.A. ’12
Project synopsis:

For centuries, the Berbers of Southwestern Morocco have used the seeds from argan trees to produce a golden oil that is rich in flavor and lush with curative nutrients. It is our mission to support the women that have traditionally processed the seeds by selling their oil and additional related products to the appreciative customers of Portland and other progressive markets that value organic and fair-trade food.

We will partner with cooperatives in Agadir, Morocco that have an outstanding record of supporting women and their communities with above-market salaries, business classes and technical assistance. A preliminary survey has suggested that culinary argan oil is currently not available in Portland. By introducing argan oil to the Portland market and elsewhere in the US, we will be providing a strong new revenue source for these cooperatives and their members.

Not only are argan trees fundamentally changing women’s lives in Morocco by allowing them to participate in local and global economies, they also play a crucial role in slowing the northward creep of the Sahara Desert. The fantastic tasting oil represents such potent social change that we are compelled to bring it where it has not gone before. 

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