The Argan Tree
Argan oil is a rare, exotic oil, cherished for its anti-aging properties. Produced from the kernels of the Moroccan Argan Tree. This oil is known and valued for its cosmetic, nutritive, and medicinal properties.
The Argan tree once covered Northern Africa. It is now endangered and under the protection of UNESCO. Argan oil is one of the rarest oils in the world, due to the small, very specific growing areas and limited production.
The tree, which is thorny and can reach heights of 8-10 metres, probably originated in Argana, a village north-east of Agadir). It lives longer than the olive tree and requires no cultivation.
The trunk of the argan tree is often twisted and gnarled, allowing goats to clamber along its branches and feed on the leaves and fruit.
The fruit has a green, fleshy exterior like an olive, but larger and rounder. Inside, there is a nut with an extremely hard shell, which in turn contains one, two or three almond-shaped kernels.
The production of argan oil, which is still mostly done by traditional methods, is a lengthy process. Each nut has to be cracked open to remove the kernels, and it is said that producing one litre of oil takes 20 hours’ work.
All Argan sold today is produced by a women’s cooperative that shares the profits among the local women of the Berber tribe.
The cooperative has established an ecosystem reforestation project so that the supply of Argan oil will not run out and the income that is currently supporting the women will not disappear.
The money is providing healthcare and education to the local women, and supporting the entire community as a whole.