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Published by:
INSEAD (2020)
24 pages
Data source:
Field research


The Kolo Nafaso programme was started in 2009 in Burkina Faso by AAK, a 140-year-old Swedish supplier of vegetable fats and oils. AAK created a direct link with the producers - women in West Africa who traditionally harvested shea nuts - and cut out the middlemen. The aim was to improve productivity and pay a fair price. As a cocoa butter equivalent, the oil from the nuts was a major ingredient for chocolate manufacturers, who could then claim that their products were made from traceable ingredients and a sustainable supply - a growing concern for consumers and investors. As the programme expanded from Burkina Faso to Ghana, AAK met several obstacles: maintaining the loyalty of the shea producers when local competitors offered higher prices, operational challenges associated with expansion, ensuring a stable supply despite political unrest in Burkina Faso, rising costs, and realising the potential brand value of Kolo Nafaso.


Supply chain; Sustainability; Traceability; Fair trade; Social impact; Africa; Shea; Pre-financing; Social innovation; Kolo Nafaso; AAK; Brand value
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