The doTERRA Co-Impact Sourcing Initiative in Somalia provides frankincense harvesters with greater opportunities for income, while providing doTERRA with access to skilled harvesters who help complete the complicated steps of the frankincense harvesting process.
Frankincense in Somalia
For generations, frankincense has been harvested in Somalia using Boswellia trees like Carterii, Frereana, and Sacra, that produce a wide variety of frankincense resin. Carterii trees typically grow best in sandy soil, producing small resin. The resin tears from the Carterii species are some of the most commonly harvested types of resin, and usually have a very round shape. Unlike the Carterii trees, Frereana trees do not thrive on sandy soil, but need a dry, rocky climate to produce the largest resin of the three species. The third species, Sacra trees, require limestone soil to thrive, which is why they are typically found near large boulders or cliffs.
Harvesting Frankincense resin is a delicate process that requires careful planning and precise skill, which is why it can take over five months to complete the process. Frankincense harvesters must travel long distances, leaving their families behind, often living in caves along the way as they strive to protect their trees. Once the tears are harvested, women sort through the resin, separating it by size, colour, and cleanliness.
doTERRA Co-Impact Sourcing Initiative in Somalia
Despite the lengthy process of harvesting frankincense and the sacrifices harvesters must make, they often return from long harvesting journeys without receiving enough payment to buy food or necessities for their families. Because of this unfair payment, a large portion of the available frankincense trees in Somalia have not been harvested.
The doTERRA Co-Impact Sourcing Initiative provides frankincense harvesters with fair wages by bypassing brokers and working directly with those who grow, harvest, and sort the frankincense. In some areas where money has little to no value, doTERRA provides food and other commodities as payment in order to help harvesters feed their families. Working directly with harvesters rather than middlemen gives doTERRA access to high quality essential oil, while improving the economic opportunity of the harvesters who are completing this process.
By providing frankincense harvesters in Somalia with sustainable and guaranteed income, doTERRA is helping to feed families and tap into the potential of frankincense harvesting in Somalia.