First organic mango butter worldwide
Although mango butter is an important raw ingredient, it has never been available in organic quality. That is, until Dr. Hauschka set the wheels in motion for an organic mango butter project in India. Both the project and the raw material passed the testing stage, meaning that Dr. Hauschka now only uses organic mango butter in its products. Sourcing this valuable raw material in organic quality is expensive but we believe the cost is worthwhile.
Christine Ellinger is Raw Materials Purchaser at WALA, which produces Dr. Hauschka, and the driving force behind organic mango butter.
WALA/Dr. Hauschka’s aim is to expand organic farming worldwide, i.e. farming without pesticides or artificial fertilisers. As Christine says: “Organic farming benefits both people and their natural surroundings.” She found it hard to believe that, although mangoes were already being grown in ecologically certified quality, the fruit’s valuable stones were not being put to good use. As she explains: “Some of the organic mangoes on the market are sold as fresh fruit, but most of it reaches consumers in the form of juice or dried fruit.” This leaves the skin and the stone, and the stone is the very part of the fruit that interests Christine, as the stones within contain valuable raw materials for skin care.
Mangoes grow in many different parts of the world. Christine travelled around different continents meeting potential business partners until she found the right one in 2008: Nanalal Satra, Managing Director of the Castor Products Company in India, which has already been producing organic cold-pressed castor oil for WALA for several years. “Nanalal Satra understood immediately what we needed”, says Christine Ellinger. In spite of this, it took some time to clear up the many questions associated with organic mango butter production. Christine Ellinger’s project was leading her into uncharted territory and there were many questions to be answered. For instance, how to extract the mango seeds from the mango stone. Or how to extract the mango butter from the seeds. Or how to ensure that the mango butter remains stable without using synthetic chemical preservatives? As Christine Ellinger reports: “In the beginning, we didn’t know what quantity of fruit was necessary to produce the amount of organic mango butter we required.” With a view to finding this out, the first processing attempts took place in 2009.
Drying of mango stones
In order to obtain the mango butter, the stones first need to be dried in the sun for a number of days. Following this, the stones can be cut open by hand and the seeds removed for further drying. Quite a challenge, given that the rainy season begins shortly after the mango harvest. Because of this, it is usually necessary to dry some of the seats completely in ovens. In order to minimise the amount of non-renewable energy used, Nanalal Satra and WALA looked to solar energy. “We commissioned a study to ascertain the best way to dry seeds using solar energy”, says Christine Ellinger. As soon as all of the seeds are dry, they are sent by ship to Germany, where the valuable organic mango butter is extracted from them. WALA’s aim is to source the mango butter directly from India, so that a greater part of the value-adding process remains in the country. And even at this early stage, significant value has been added, given that the stones are no longer discarded or burnt, but are processed instead. The benefit for Nanalal Satra is that he can employ an extra 40 seasonal workers for the purpose of extracting the organic mango stones.
Mango butter has a similar consistency to cocoa butter. It nourishes the skin, providing it with various fatty acids and helping to keep it soft and supple. Mango butter also helps to reduce fine lines and is particularly effective at treating rough skin. Mango butter is also edible and is used, among other things, to make chocolate.
Mango butter in our products
Skin nurturing mango butter is obtained from the kernels of the mango fruit. It helps make even stressed and rough skin soft and supple again, and prevents it from dryness. The following Dr. Hauschka products contain organic mango butter:
Creating a better world • Sustainable partnerships all around the world
In creating the formulations for Dr. Hauschka skin care and make-up products, we draw on the many things that nature has to offer. For example, medicinal plants, botanical oils and waxes and genuine essential oils, naturally of organic or biodynamic quality wherever possible. Many of the medicinal plants used grow in our own biodynamic medicinal herb garden or in the fields on our Demeter farm over the road from Head Office, the Sonnenhof. We also purchase other raw materials from regional sources. Our climate is simply not suitable for growing some of the plant species from which we obtain raw materials.
Fragrant roses for essential rose oil, almond trees and jojoba bushes, for example. We want to purchase these in organic quality for our formulations as well. To do this, we sometimes have to instigate the production of organic raw materials in the first place. Essential rose oil, mango butter, castor oil and shea butter are just a few of the raw materials to which this applies. We support farmers financially and with our knowledge of organic farming. We help them obtain organic certifications and guarantee certain purchase volumes.
It goes without saying that we are committed to fair trade conditions and social responsibility, characterised by mutual trust and independent development opportunities. We therefore have a solid and long-term working relationship with many organic farming partners, including ones who grow almonds and olives in Spain, jojoba in Argentina and macadamia nuts in Kenya. We help our partners increase their production capacities and, where desired, finance regular visits to them by biodynamic consultants.
The aim of such involvement is always to enable the partners to develop commercially and achieve economic stability that makes them independent from us.
We also believe that such partnerships should involve good local working conditions. We have encouraged developments such as the creation of social areas for the workers of an oil mill and supported the construction of suitable sanitary facilities, for example. After all, it is not only financial independence that is important to us, but also better social conditions for people locally.