A fully integrated supply chain

OLVE’True™ Shea gathers OLVEA’s 100% natural Shea butters produced locally in Burkina Faso (West Africa) and refined in France, in its state-of-the-art eco-refinery. Established in Burkina Faso since 2008, OLVEA has developed a unique sustainable and fully integrated supply chain: from the fruit harvested by thousands of women in the bush, to the refined shea butter delivered worldwide to its customers.

Since its creation, OLVEA Burkina Faso has developed real sustainable and inclusive supply chains with communities of more than 28 000 Shea collectors. OLVEA has chosen to develop fully integrated supply chains throughout its local operations, enabling it to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of its production.

To fulfill its mission, OLVEA Burkina Faso is supported by various partners and has set up Public/Private partnerships:

OLVEA - UEBT - Union for Ethical BioTrade
For Life
Global shea alliance

Women's gold


Shea plays a very important social and economic role in rural areas. The harvest and processing of Shea fruit is done by women. From May to August, they pick up the fruit once it has fallen onto the ground, and bring them home. They follow several steps to obtain the precious Shea kernels. They remove the sweet and edible pulp of the fruit, in order to obtain the nut, which is then boiled, dried in the sun and shelled. The kernel obtained is sun-dried again before being sold or processed into butter.

“Women’s gold” is thus an additional source of income for millions of women in rural Burkina Faso, and it gives them some economic independence.

The production of OLVE'True™ Shea (Shea butter)

  • OLVEA - Shea butter production - Shea harvest


    20 kg of Shea fruit

  • OLVEA - Shea butter production - Pulp removing and scalding


    10 kg of Shea nuts

  • OLVEA - Shea butter production - Sun drying


    6 kg of dry Shea nuts

  • OLVEA - Shea butter production - Shelling


    4 kg of Shea kernels

women Shea collectors
OLVEA - TrueShea™
women trained to good agricultural practices
people have benefited from litteracy campaigns (since 2013)
underpriviledged children benefited from schooling support
Scolarisation des enfants

Shea parklands protection

OLVEA, along with clients and ONGs, strives for Shea parklands protection and has conducted several projects for the reforestation and protection of natural resources.

By producing OLVE’True™ Shea, OLVEA participates in the protection of more than 72,000 hectares of the Shea Park. In particular, OLVEA has taken part in the Action for Shea Parklands initiative, launched in 2020 by the Global Shea Alliance, which aims to plant more than 10 million shea trees over the next 10 years.

Global shea alliance
Action for Shea

Local and green processing

OLVE’True™ Shea is produced in an environmentally-friendly way, with renewable resources and a low carbon footprint.

After the Shea fruit have been harvested by women collectors, the kernels are crushed locally in Burkina Faso and the butter is then processed in our state-of-the-art eco-refining plant in France (100% green electricity).

Since 2007, OLVEA has its own local crushing unit in Bobo Dioulasso, OLVEA Burkina Faso. To further improve its carbon footprint, OLVEA has inaugurated in 2016 a new production site, one of the first green plant of the country : bioclimatic architecture, photovoltaic panels, local materials, innovative treatment of the Shea kernels, and upcycling (biomass boiler fueled by Shea by-products).

Supply of improved cookstoves

Improved cookstoves

Since 2016, OLVEA and L’Oréal, in partnership with Nafa Naana and Entrepreneurs du Monde, have been supplying improved cookstoves to Shea producers in south Burkina Faso in order to fight against fuel poverty and its consequences on deforestation. These improved cookstoves, used to boil Shea nuts and cook meals in Burkina Faso’s rural households, consume less firewood than traditional cookstoves. These cookstoves generate savings and improve their health, comfort and environmental impact (less wood consumed and less CO2 emissions).

In 3 years, more than 4,200 producers have benefited from this project! A total of 5,370 improved cookstoves were distributed, thus avoiding cutting more than 4,500 tons of wood and reducing the domestic work of these producers by 500,000 hours.

As a result of our numerous environmental actions, we have decreased our greenhouse gas emissions by -42% since 2016 (Shea Life Cycle Analysis done in 2019).

Socio-economic development in West Africa

Pricing policy

OLVE’True™ Shea‘s supply chain contributes actively to the socio-economic development in West Africa.

For OLVE’True™ Shea fair trade, through its fair pricing policy, OLVEA has set up a purchasing price of the fair trade nuts higher than the market (+3% In 2021).

In addition, OLVEA finances a Fair Trade Development Fund whose objective is to support collective projects such as the improvement of women skills, environmental impact and livelihoods, as well as the supply of new equipments. Between 2018 and 2019, the amount paid to the fair trade development fund increased by +78%.

Creation of jobs and local development

Thanks to its operations in Burkina Faso, OLVEA has enabled the creation of 64 direct jobs and more than 40,000 indirect jobs in Africa.

Since 2018, OLVEA has also developed an integrated supply chain for OLVE’True™ Sesame (Sesame Seed oil), providing the collectors succeding activities, therefore guaranteeing income diversification and security for thousands of people in West Africa.

Calendrier agricole

Learn more about our integrated production unit in Burkina Faso

OLVEA has set up its own integrated production unit for OLVE’True™ Shea butter and OLVE’True™ Sesame oil, in Burkina Faso.