1. What is Argan oil, and where does it come from?
Argan oil, called "liquid gold" by the Berber, is extracted from the kernels of the Argan tree which grows in Morocco only. The Argan forest is the domain of the Berber tribes, and only they can harvest the Argan kernels and extract their oil.
2. How is Argan oil useful in beauty products?
Argan oil is 80% essential fatty acids including Omega 6 and Omega 9, twice the vitamin E as in olive oil, prostaglandin, and other elements critical to skin and hair health. Working in concert, these nutrients hydrate, regenerate, and nourish skin and hair cells; repair damaged cells; and help the body manufacture new ones. Argan oil is so beneficial to cellular health that Lancome and other giant companies are now using it in their beauty products.
3. What makes your Berber Gold products unique?
I'm glad you asked that, Mandy. I just read a horror story about the reality of olive oil sold in the U.S. It seems that 67% of olive oil sold in the U.S. is not pure, not cold pressed, not virgin, and is old and rancid. We know that the same merchants dealing with olive oil are dealing with other oils including Argan oil and that the risk of getting Argan oil blended with cheaper oils such as sunflower oil, apricot oil, and olive oil is ever present. This is what sets us apart from all other importers. Berber Gold is driven by a dream and a vision, not by greed and the lust for money. With us, it's about fulfilling a promise a young Berber boy made to his people: to free them from the squalor, illiteracy and disease that dominate their lives.
4. How does your company partner with the Berber people?
One of the two founders of Berber Gold, Mr. Hafid El Hourti, is Berber as are Brahim and Omar who are supervising the operation in Morocco. This allows us access to the innermost circles of the Berber Women's Co-Ops. We deal directly with the women and are able to get the absolute purest Argan oil at a price other merchants can only dream of as well as the endorsement and support of two of the world's leading authorities on the Argan tree and its fruit: Dr. Zoubida Sharouf and Professor Mohammed Shafshouni.
5. As an artist and rancher in California, how did you first hear about Argan oil, and what inspired you to start your company?
Music, health, and serving mankind are passions that have fueled my life. I read about Argan oil in one of the discussion groups I'm subscribed to and for some reason was compelled to order some. It proved to be just as wonderful as advertised and this is where it gets crazy, Mandy: I got on Craigslist, "went" to Morocco and posted an ad. Twenty minutes later I received a response from a Moroccan Berber gentleman, Mr. Hafid El Hourti, who is now my brother and partner in importing 100% pure Argan oil to the U.S.