8 Degrees North receives US$1.1 million to support Organic Palm Market

organic palm oil

Thanks to U.S Government support, over 6,000 new jobs will be created in Ghana and Liberia

The USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub) has awarded a $1.1 million co investment grant to 8 Degrees North, a Ghanaian palm oil processing company, to support smallholder  farmers in West Africa to access the growing market for organic palm oil in the United States. The co investment project will considerably boost profits for smallholders and increase the value of exports  from the region, while creating over 6,000 new jobs in Ghana and Liberia. 

8 Degrees North will leverage the Trade Hub’s co-investment grant to back an alliance with multiple  partners seeking to address the challenges of process upgrades and organic certification in West Africa’s palm oil industry. A critical investor and member of this alliance is Pacha Soap Co., a U.S.-based natural  soaps company committed to ethical sourcing.  

Pacha Soap will assist both 8 Degrees North and J-Palm, a Liberian palm kernel oil company in the  alliance, to secure organic accreditation for their two mills, which will allow smallholders in both Ghana  and Liberia to get better prices for their palm fruit. The company will also source ingredients for its  products directly from 8 Degrees North and J-Palm, strengthening the supply chain for each company  and further boosting smallholders’ incomes. Just as crucial to the alliance’s success, Pacha Soap will  leverage its relationship with major retailers in the United States to advertise and market 8 Degrees  North and J-Palm’s certified palm oil and palm kernel oil, capitalizing on the untapped potential for a  diversified supply chain of palm oil sourced from organic smallholder plantations in West Africa. Discussions are already underway between Wholefoods and J-Palm, a strong indicator that the alliance  is well positioned for success. 

“With this project, manufacturers in the United States can now source from certified smallholders in  West Africa,” said Andy Thornton, Vice President, Sourcing and Impact at Pacha Soap. “We can use our  supply chain, our brand as the jumping off point to build the supply chains and allow smallholders to  become international, get them certified, and get them access to markets.” 

8 Degrees North and Pacha Soap are also partnering with a specialist blockchain technology company,  Bext360, that will provide a platform delivering full transparency on where ingredients are sourced from  and who is producing them.

Osman Bangura, Director of Operations for 8 Degrees North, looks forward to seeing the many positive  outcomes of the alliance for both his company and J-Palm. 

“This co-investment partnership with the Trade Hub will enable us to expand operations, create more  jobs, improve standards of living for our farmers and their communities, and also to meet our corporate social responsibilities,” Bangura says. 

Exports from this venture to the United States are expected to generate over $1.7 million, with new  sales for smallholders valued at over $900,000. The creation of over 6,000 new jobs is also anticipated  for smallholders in Ghana and Liberia because of increased market demand and production needs. The  Trade Hub’s $1.1 million co-investment to support 8 Degrees North and Pacha Soap’s initiatives  advances the U.S. Government’s Prosper Africa initiative to substantially increase two-way trade and  investment between Africa and the United States.  

“We are excited about this partnership, which will allow the growing organic palm market in the United  States to engage with smallholders in West Africa,” said Michael Clements, Chief of Party of the Trade  Hub. “By lifting the barriers preventing these farmers from being able to supply to the U.S. market, the  project will boost profits and create jobs. 


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