People wonder why Argan Oil is so expensive . I had the opportunity, while traveling from Marrakech, on the way to Essaouira , to drive pass many women’s co-op’s. They were producing Argan oil and Umla, which is a sort of Maroccan nutela , an almond butter made with honey and Argan oil . I stopped at this Co-Op in the Ourika Valley to purchase the oil and and witness the process of making Argan oil.
Argan oil is made by hand, it is an arduous and time consuming process. All of the nut is used and none of Argan seed is wasted. They make oil and soaps and the rest becomes feed for the goats who basically hang out on the Argan tree eating the meaty part of the fruit and pooping the part that gets collected and dried. Talk about a dirty job!!!!!
I believe that some co ops do collect their own Argan fruit from the tree which has horrible thorns. It takes 30 kg of fruit and 15 hours of labor to make 1 litre of oil which is 33 ounces . The Argan tree needs at least 50 years to reach fruiting maturity. This makes for a very pricey product.
The Argania fields are now a protected Unesco World Heritage site. Next time you wonder why it’s so expensive, remember theses women, and ask yourself how much would you charges if you had to do the work? .