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Argan oil cooperatives

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Madrid, Spain
posts: 134
reviews: 31
Argan oil cooperatives

I've heard that there are several argan oil cooperatives run by woman between Marrakesh and Essaouira, and I'd really like to visit one of them to see the process and buy a few products. Can anybody give me more precise instructions of where to find them or recommend a particular place to go? How much time should I calculate on spending on this "detour" between Marrakesh and Essaouira, and what are the normal opening hours? We'll be going by rental car so we can stop when we want but don't have unlimited time as I was thinking of stopping by on the way back to Marrakesh, although we'll need to return the car at the airport around midday.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

marrakech
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 7,657
reviews: 63
1. Re: Argan oil cooperatives

Hi,

There are now over 20 argan women's co-ops on the road from Essaouira to Marrakech. Basically half an hour or so outside of town on route to Marrakech you will start seeing their signs so just pull in and visit any one you fancy. Most are the same so it doesn't matter which one you pick and half an hour at the most will let you observe the production and buy a couple of things but it isn't cheap!

Madrid, Spain
posts: 134
reviews: 31
2. Re: Argan oil cooperatives

Thanks for your reply! Is it more expensive that buying it elsewhere? I'm not particularly looking for a super cheap price but I guess buying it where they make it is the best guarantee of quality, and I rather like the idea of supporting these places by buying from them directly. But of course I don't want to be totally ripped off either! :)

marrakech
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 7,657
reviews: 63
3. Re: Argan oil cooperatives

Hi,

Argan products are expensive wherever you buy them so you may as well get some where you've watched the women at work.

orangeville, on
posts: 36
reviews: 8
4. Re: Argan oil cooperatives

Did you make your visit yet.? I was wondering if you found trees growing at these co operatives on the road between Essaouira and Marrakech or was it just processing? I am visiting in Sept. and hoped to see both the trees/goats and the womens co ops in action. Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks Jannene

Tripoli, Libya
posts: 53
5. Re: Argan oil cooperatives

Hope to catch you in time. Yes, you see the trees and the women at work. But beware, it's a rip off. The testers contain the real stuff, what you take home is crap. And don't let yourself be fooled - there is but one argan oil. If they start telling you that there is a difference between cosmetic and cooking argan oil, do yourself a favour and don't buy anything.

orangeville, on
posts: 36
reviews: 8
6. Re: Argan oil cooperatives

Thanks for the heads up. I was assuming their were diffierent grades as in olive oil production. The worst fruit is used to make oil for cosmetics/soap. Perhaps there is some of the same going on with Argan oil, although they are using the seed and not the fruit? What were they charging at the co-operatives for oil. Perhaps I will just buy in Essaouira or take a day trip to the south where there are more trees.

NZ
posts: 1,020
reviews: 28
7. Re: Argan oil cooperatives

5 is not quite correct.

The cooperatives send the oil they wish turned into cosmetic grade to a distillation and processing plant . This ensures a far greater level of quality control and also involves more capital than most of the smaller co-operatives can manage.

While rip offs related to oil are common, the womens' cooperatives selling direct to the puoblic are very careful with their reputation - it is after all their livelihood - and goods sold at them are genuine and have not been diluted with olive oil. I have a favourite place where the oil has a touch of orange blossom oil in it - however it does not keep as long as pure oil.

Tripoli, Libya
posts: 53
8. Re: Argan oil cooperatives

You can read a lot on the subject on TA through a search of “argan oil” or in the Essaouira forum and see for yourself. The real stuff, which you get off the beaten track and through personal contacts is around 400-500 dhm per liter. It should be fast absorbing with a nutty taste and scent and nothing added, otherwise it turns rancid. On the road Marrakesh-Essaouira you will be able to see all, trees, goats and women at work – without having to go more down south.

Reston, Virginia
posts: 2
9. Re: Argan oil cooperatives

I am in Madrid now . Can u recommend a place to buy the oil?

Thank you

Castril De La Pena...
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 6,055
reviews: 39
10. Re: Argan oil cooperatives

Pharmacies are more reliable places to buy. The cooperatives are a ripoff for well-meaning tourists with incredibly expensive prices.