Deutsch (DE-CH-AT)English (United Kingdom)


Monday, 17 February 2020
UEBT certified Sheabutter
Print E-mail

UEBT Certification for Organic Shea Butter


UEBT (Union for Ethical Bio Trade) is a non-profit community that promotes ethical behavior when sourcing natural resources. UEBT verifies whether the purchasing of raw materials benefits human beings and biodiversity. For this purpose, certain procedures are determined for the procurement system of companies and their suppliers. A procurement system means collecting, cultivating or harvesting the raw materials used in the product.

UEBT standard

The internationally recognized sustainability standard "Sourcing with respect" is defined by UEBT as follows:

1. strengthening biodiversity

2. sustainable use of biodiversity

3. fair and equitable sharing of profits

4. local economic development

5. compliance with national and international regulations and laws

6. respect for human, labor and indigenous rights

7. involvement of local and indigenous communities

Gustav Heess is proud to meet these standards in the procurement of shea butter. We have been offering UEBT-certified shea butter since September 2019.


Shea Tree

Shea Frucht

The shea tree (Butyrospermum parkii) grows in more than 20 countries in semi-dry sub-Saharan West-Africa. The growing area covers more than 3 Million square kilometers, which are populated rurally. This area is home to millions of female shea fruit collectors. According to conservative estimates, there are1.5 billions of trees grown wildly within this area. Its height can reach up to 10 and 25 meters. Shea plantations were not cultivated because the tree needs approx. 20 years until the first harvest and another 30 years until the entirely fruit production is fully developed. A shea tree may become more than 300 years old.

Harvest and Production

The crop starts in May and gets introduced by a traditional festivity. The collection period ends in October. Once the shea fruits are ripe, they are falling from the trees. Female village inhabitants are collecting the wild fruits and carry them home. There the eatable green fruit skin gets removed. Afterwards the peeled nuts get sundried and packed in 80-kg-sacks before loading for transportation to the oil mills. Dried nuts can also be stored for many months. Having arrived at the oil mills the nuts get pressed, the created Sheabutter gets packed and shipped in containers. One container contains 22 tons of Sheabutter.


Added value for the region

As the raw material gets pressed in oil mills in its origin, the resulting added value lasts in the region. It contributes to an improving food- and income situation on-site. The female collectors also provide an essential contribution to the family income because they receive a higher salary as usual.

Price Negotiations

When the crop is over, price negotiations are carried out. All the villagers are taking part in it and the village eldests are involved in every decision.



Dried nuts are the source of Sheabutter (approx. 45-50 % fat content). Sheabutter contains valuable fatty acids, wax esters, phytosterols (inter alia campesterol, stigmasterol, β-sistosterol and α-spinosterol), triterpene, tocopherol and allantoin. The melting point is just below the body temperature. Sheabutter contains a high smoke point (approx. 210°C) by nature.


Shea butter is used in cosmetics as well as in food.

Special Sheabutter UEBT as PDF-file