Shea butter is a natural fat obtained from the fruit of the shea tree (Butyrospermum parkii). This wild tree from the Sapotaceae family can only be found in its natural state in Africa, in the regions of Sudan and the Sahel, north of the Equator.
Usually growing in tree-planted savannah, the Shea tree can measure up to twenty meters tall and reaches its maximum production capacity after fifty years. Each tree produces an average of 15 to 20 kg of fruit (i.e. 3 to 4 kg of kernels) per year. Shea butter is extracted from the kernels, which contain 50% solid fat.