BASF celebrates 10th anniversary of the argan program in Morocco

BASF has added a further anti-ageing active to this list: Argassential

  • 1,000 women from rural areas in Southern Morocco benefit from the program
  • Since 2005, the sustainably sourced argan oil and its by-products are supplied to BASF under fair-trade conditions
  • Argassential: BASF’s new anti-ageing active ingredient based on argan pulp is plumping and densifying skin

BASF is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Argan Program in Southern Morocco. Since 2005, three ingredients from the program have been commercialised: an organic and fair-trade certified oil (Lipofructyl Argan), a skin-tightening protein extract from oil cakes (Argatensyl), and an anti-ageing extract from the leaves of the argan tree that protects the skin from environmental factors (Arganyl).

Argassential improves skin firmness

Now, BASF has added a further anti-ageing active to this list: Argassential. The new ingredient improves the skin firmness and increases the volume of the lips and cheeks, restoring facial proportions: Clinical studies have demonstrated that in a concentration of 2 percent Argassential has a plumping effect on the lips – with lip volume increasing by 8 percent. The same dose also significantly improved the skin’s firmness and elasticity (both up 13 percent) compared to a placebo. Argassential is ECOCERT, COSMOS and IECIC approved, and China compliant.

The Argan Program: Targanine network and social funds

Originally, the Argan Program was designed to study the argan tree and valorises the oil and its by-products, while diversifying the revenue of the cooperatives and fostering preservation of the argan forest by the local population. For this purpose, BASF partnered with Targanine – a network of six oil processing cooperatives from the region of Agadir. In 2005, the first products were commercialised. This marked the beginning of BASF’s Argan Program. Since then, substantial sustainability improvements have been achieved. “We are very pleased with the results of the program” said Charlotte d’Erceville Dumond, the responsible R&D Manager at BASF. “Our local partners have consistently achieved greater levels of autonomy and sense of social responsibility. They are now sourcing high-quality argan oil. This in turn enables us to develop first-class ingredients for our customers and – ultimately – consumers, who are increasingly demanding products based on raw materials from renewable sources.”

Significant economic development and social benefits

Between 2005 and 2015, the number of cooperative members involved in argan oil production has increased sixfold and group turnover has risen by 875 percent. Today, 1,000 women from rural areas are working in the cooperatives. They now market 16 different products in total, including by-products, botanical and essential oils, and bee products. The oil and its by-products are supplied to BASF under fair-trade conditions: These include a non-negotiated premium price, payment in advance, a fair trade premium for the oil, and long-term forecasts. Fifty percent of the price paid for oil cakes and pulp is allocated to social funds within the cooperatives; so far, this money has been spent on schemes such as literacy programs and health related initiatives.

Targanine network heads for operational excellence

Today, the Targanine network is on track for operational excellence: A quality management program – with guidelines, certifications and qualified employees dedicated to quality management – has been implemented, leading to the results of no non-conformity registered since 2012. Procedures have been standardised and a special software application is being used to trace and improve product flow from fruit origin to the customer.

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