Saadia with a handful of fresh Argan fruit. Just south of Essaouira, Morocco.
Saadia Organics isn’t just a random name our company chose for itself. Saadia is the mother in law of co-owner, Joèl, and is also our Production Manager.
Here is a little interview with Saadia conducted and translated by her son, Greg. (Joèl’s husband).
How long have you been making Argan Oil?
I have being making Argan Oil since I was 15 or 16 years old. I helped my mom make it for us to eat or for my father to sell in the market.
How do you, personally, use your Argan Oil?
I grew up using Argan Oil in my hair. I’d put some through before washing it. I still use it in my hair now. I also use it on my skin.
What makes your Argan Oil so special? It really is different than other brands available?
I make sure to get only the BEST quality Argan fruit pits from farms that have no goats. I have to pay a lot more money for pits for our oil, but it’s worth it. The kernels inside are always fresh. They are from healthy trees. If a goat is climbing all over a tree, branches break. The tree is unhealthy. How can you get healthy fruit from an unhealthy tree? I am very picky about choosing my materials. Also, my Argan Oil is made by hand. No machines. Machines can warm up the oil while it’s being made. Argan Oil for beauty should not be made with any heat at all. So yes, this oil is different. Very different. Most brands don’t really care about the farms where the fruit is picked from. They don’t care about the freshness of the pits. They just want a cheap price when they’re buying them. They also want the oil to be made quickly. So they use machines. It takes us a long time to make a litre of oil for Saadia Organics, but it’s worth it. The quality is the best.
What did you think when Joèl asked you about creating a company to sell your oil?
I though it was a great idea! We want to share this special oil with others. It’s so rare to be able to find Argan Oil that is of the best quality.
How has Saadia Organics made a difference in your day to day life?
It so good to know that you have your own income. Women in Morocco feel proud when they are able to support themselves. And I am very proud to now be able to support not only myself, but also the other women who work for Saadia Organics. This company has meant a big change for them and their families .
Any plans on how you would like to spend your new income?
I plan to buy a different apartment in Essaouira. My current building is not in great shape and in need of some big repairs. I want to find a “new” place – probably outside of the medina – that is safe and secure.
As the company grows, your need for more people to help make the oil grows. What kind of women would you like to hire?
I would like to grow the company and hire a lot more women. And I also would like to do after work programs that teach these women – as most of them have never had the chance to go to school. I particularly want to hire single moms, single women, and women who are supporting their families. It is not easy for a woman to support herself and her children in Morocco alone.
What has been the biggest challenge in becoming the Production Manager for Saadia Organics?
For me? None really! As we get busier I will be able to hire more women. But that won’t be difficult. It’s easy to find women who are willing to work in a safe, private place for good wages.
What is your ultimate dream for Saadia Organics?
I would be excited to see this become a famous, international company. Known for the best quality Argan Oil available.
How else might we help the women of Morocco?
Know that buying this oil is really helping change our lives over here. And I want to say thank you – it means a lot to them. And to me.
Saadia and Greg on an Argan farm – March 2011