As Prepared Remarks for Ambassador Stephanie S. Sullivan’s visit to U.S. Bunge Loders Croklaan’s shea Processing Facility

Ambassador Sullivan touring the Bunge Loders Croklaan shea processing facility in the Tema Free Zones area

Ambassador Stephanie S. Sullivan’s visit to

Bunge Loders Croklaan’s shea Processing Facility

July 13, 2021 | 10:00 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. GMT

Tema Free Zones Enclave, Tema

Santanu Bhuyan, Bunge General Manager, West Africa;

Aaron Andu, Managing Director, Global Shea Alliance;

Simon Madjie, Executive Director, American Chamber of Commerce;

Distinguished guests, friends, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, all protocols – including COVID-19 protocols – observed:

Akwaaba, and Good morning!

I’m pleased to visit you at Bunge Loders Croklaan’s new shea processing factory in Tema. The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, has supported the establishment and growth of the shea industry worldwide, through the Global Shea Alliance over the past decade, to strengthen the organization and mobilization of the private sector and other stakeholders to address the multiple shared challenges the industry faces.

Since my arrival in Ghana at the end of 2018, I have experienced a fascinating journey along the shea supply chain path. Given the impact of the industry on improving incomes for women and their families, it’s been wonderful to witness first-hand the enormous growth of the shea export industry in Ghana. I planted shea seedlings at my home last year and will join women in Damongo, capital of the Savannah Region, soon, to transplant the seedlings into designated managed parklands. I have participated in the opening of two, new, handcrafted shea processing facilities in Northern Ghana, where the women showed me some of the difficult steps involved in manually processing shea nuts into butter.

These were all a result of productive public private partnerships. Today, I am happy to visit the only shea fractionation plant in Africa, which is located right here in Ghana, made possible by the investments of a U.S. company, Bunge Loders Croklaan. Indeed, I’m proud to have been able to learn first-hand what goes into processing shea for both the cosmetics and the food industries, and how this translates into jobs and income for Ghanaians.

Bunge Loders Croklaan has supported the U.S. government’s efforts in the shea industry for over a decade now, as a founding member of the Global Shea Alliance, and currently as a co-Vice President, representing suppliers on the Executive Committee – the governing body of the Alliance. Bunge has also been a strategic private sector partner, supporting the Sustainable Shea Initiative aimed at empowering rural women economically and socially, as well as the Action for Shea Parkland Initiative to promote, plant, and protect shea trees. Because the future of shea depends on the health and welfare of not just the women, youth, and the communities who are engaged in the sector but also the trees that provide this amazing crop.

Today’s visit demonstrates our collective efforts to advance the growth of the shea industry locally, and through these efforts to support the communities, and women and youth, whose incomes depend on them. Shea exports provide $33 million U.S. dollars annually to the incomes of women producers in Ghana. U.S. companies, like Bunge Loders Croklaan, alongside U.S. consumers, continue to play a key role in this growth, expanding U.S.-Ghana bilateral trade and investment, and ensuring that the shea industry continues to contribute to Ghana’s economic development, while meeting the highest social and sustainable environmental standards.

Thank you and medaase!