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Income for Women • Protecting Trees • Wild Ingredients


Renewable Tree Products


Balanites AegyptiAca, NOrthern UGANDA

Our cold pressed Desert Date oil From the Balanites Aegyptiaca tree is one of the most decadent oils for the skin.  It is fast absorbing and packed with nutrients that improve the health of the skin and its appearance. 


Gum Arabic is used in a diverse number of products and it works beautifully as an emulsifier for beauty products.  South Sudan has high quality gum and it is extremely rare.

*Small quantities

Vitellaria Nilotica, Northern UGanda

Shea Butter from the Vitellaria Nilotica tree has a rich fatty acid profile, which makes it an incredibly creamy butter. This luxurious butter easily melts into the skin and has a very light, mild scent.



We believe that the forest is the source of all life and that we will do what it takes to protect it, while still ensuring that the people that live in the surrounding area are able to improve their lives by generating a sustainable income from forest products.  


We are a Social Enterprise


Jobs for Women

Women have little to no job opportunities in our harvest areas in Northern Uganda. Many sell mangos (the mango season is only three months per year), practice subsistence farming or make papyrus mats enabling them to live on a meager income. By working for the Desert Date Co., they are able to earn significantly higher incomes. They use this additional income to pay for school fees, put new roofs on their houses, improve nutrition and visit health facilities that they were previously unable to afford.


Protecting the Trees

The Desert Date tree is being devastated by micro-charcoal businesses and the influx of refugees from South Sudan in Northern Uganda. This tree is also frequently cut down for building houses due to its termite resistance. In the areas where we are not harvesting, we can visibly see a reduction in the tree population.

Where we harvest our products, the women currently protect the trees as it now a vital source for their income, but deforestation is a growing threat.

Uganda loses about 100,000 Hectares of forest cover every year which is devastating to local agriculture. At the current rate of deforestation, it is predicted that Uganda will have NO FOREST by 2050.


Building Supply Chains

The Desert Date Co. creates supply chains for forest products that are currently undeveloped.   We look for the most rare and special ingredients and work with local communities to develop an ethically sourced product. This not only benefits local women by providing income, but also protects the local vegetation and overall environment.


Origin Story

The founder met several South Sudanese friends at the University of Vermont and traveled to South Sudan with them to meet lost relatives and to also start an education project. While there in 2006, our South Sudanese friends introduced us to a delicious medicinal nut in their home community.   The introduction to the Desert Date tree was curiosity at first site, which was soon followed by love.   The nut is consumed as a staple snack by local communities but all the literature about its benefits were screaming SkinFOOD!   So we bought an oil press and made our first batch of this amazing oil.  Now we are forever dedicated to bringing this gorgeous oil to the world, protecting the medicinal Desert Date tree and providing quality work for women in the communities where the tree grows.


First Desert Date Oil Pressing

Yei, South Sudan 2014


The Nile 

Our Trees Grow around Nile River Communities where fishing is the main source of employment.   The river is currently overtaken by an invasive weed species and the fish are dying from suffocation, destroying the local livelihood base. 

As there are currently no conservation efforts being made, we want to play a role in restoring the natural habitat of the fish. We are looking for partners to join us in this effort.  Please contact us if interested in partnering on solutions.