These cooperatives not only play a vital role in producing argan oil but also contribute to the sustainable and fair trade practices associated with its production.
The unique properties and benefits of argan oil have contributed to its popularity not only in Morocco but also worldwide. It has various industries, including culinary, skincare, and haircare, making it a valuable and sought-after commodity.
Here is an overview of the process:
Harvesting: The argan tree produces small, green fruits. After they ripen and fall to the ground, the outer pulp is removed, and the hard nut inside is collected.
Cracking: The hard nut contains one to three oil-rich kernels. To extract these kernels, the women crack the nuts using stones, a technique that requires skill and precision.
Grinding: The kernels are then ground into a paste using a traditional hand mill. This paste is rich in oil.
Pressing: The paste is further processed through mechanical pressing to extract the oil. The resulting oil is then decanted or filtered to remove any remaining particles.