Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Argan Oil Hype Continues


Over the past few years The View from Fez has highlighted the nonsense talked about argan oil. The one thing however, that is not nonsense, is the amount of money being made by those who can convince others that the oil has the almost mystical properties some advertisements claim. The fact is you can buy 250 mls of argan oil in Morocco for under $10 escapes most people's attention. And, yes it is quite good for the skin, probably fine to put in your hair and the culinary version of the oil is really nice to dip bread in for breakfast. But now there is a new marketing push into the argan oil fad - "Argan 100".

An Israeli company Sivan is promoting “Argan 100” – a "super strain" of Argan that is tolerant of the Mediterranean climate and can produce ten times more nuts than the average tree in Morocco, they say. “We are the only company that knows how to raise Argan trees and to bring them to market professionally, so that every year we will know how much oil to expect,” says company’s chief agronomist Chaim Oren.

ripe argan nuts

An Israeli "innovation" website carries a story riddled with inaccuracies. The website, "No Camels" headlines:  Rare Moroccan Argan Oil – Now Made In Israel then proceeds to claim "Until recently, it was a rare product grown only in the Atlas Mountains." Not true. It actually grows on the coast and with argan forests now covering some 8,280 km² they could hardly be called rare. The website also falls for and perpetuates the old goat harvesting myth in which it is necessary for goats to eat and then expel the nuts before they can be processed. Of course this is rubbish.

Maybe the most insidious claim by the company is "This commercial endeavor may also be beneficial for the Argan trees in Morocco, as the competition with the local market could reduce the tree’s chances of extinction. The United Nations’ conservation body UNESCO has set up reserves to protect the dwindling Argan trees in Morocco." The sad truth is that if this Israeli argan makes major market penetration then a lot of Moroccan women will be out of work and the trees will lose their value and may well be cut down to make charcoal.

Yes, a "super strain" of argan does sound too silly to be true, but think again, if there is money to be made and enough fashion victims believe the hype, then the manufacturers will probably make a fortune before the cosmetic industry turns to the next "big thing" - Barbary fig oil.

THE VIEW FROM FEZ REPORT ON THE ARGAN HYPE IS HERE: LIQUID GOLD?


You will find more information about Argan oil here:

Making Argan Oil in Fez


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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

One thing the Moroccan government can do is follow in the footsteps of the French, and copyright the name Argan. And make sure that no other products can be called Argan except the ones grown on Moroccan soil.
The French have done it for all kinds of products: Wine, Cheese, and tons of other locally produced stuff.
This way, the Israelis will be forced to rename their tree something else than Argan.
but if I were to guess, the idiots running the show in Morocco won't move a finger. As long as this doesn't affect the business of the king, they will not show any enthusiasm in protecting the locally grown Argan oil.

Anonymous said...

It is a big push by the Israelis - even their Foreign Affairs government website is promoting this rubbish. Hopefully the Moroccans will do some promoting of "genuine" Moroccan oil and not let let this company's silly claims go unchallenged. And good point about the Barbary Fig Oil - but how long before the Israelis try and rip this off as well

Mezgarne said...

The price of this oil is just ludicrous... 200 euros a litre ! I'm rather sure the Moroccan market is not threatened.
I did some research and discovered that Argan Oil from Morocco is already a protected label, by an international organization.

David said...

I import certified Moroccan Argan oil directly from Morocco, every bottle I sell I donate a percentage to the Marocavie project in Southwest Morocco which is a foundation setup by companies who help support communities who rely on the production of argan oil to fund their communities.

I also support UNESCO who are ensuring that this endangered tree is taken out of the endangered category.

I can't believe how expensive brands such as "Moroccan Oil" which are actually manufactured in Israel and actually contais very little argan oil can get away with it.

This Argan 100 tree sounds cmpletely ridiculous. It just shows you the extent some people will go to. Pure Greed. It seems like stealing.

Chaim said...

This Argan 100 tree sounds completely ridiculous. It just shows you the extent some people will go to. Pure Greed. It seems like stealing."
First: Israel didn't still anything .
second: we have been working on a breading program for the last 25 years to improve the yearly yield of the Argan tree and to improve it's resistance to Fusarium fungi and we succeeded.
we have developed a way to make identical trees from cuttings not from seeds.
we think Argan oil to be the best oil now and forever and will not do anything to hurt the Moroccan oil industry. farther more we offered this new tree verity to the Moroccan people. we call it Argan 100 since it gives 100Kg of nits every year.
Chaim

Chaim said...

This Argan 100 tree sounds completely ridiculous. It just shows you the extent some people will go to. Pure Greed. It seems like stealing."
First: Israel didn't still anything .
second: we have been working on a breading program for the last 25 years to improve the yearly yield of the Argan tree and to improve it's resistance to Fusarium fungi and we succeeded.
we have developed a way to make identical trees from cuttings not from seeds.
we think Argan oil to be the best oil now and forever and will not do anything to hurt the Moroccan oil industry. farther more we offered this new tree verity to the Moroccan people. we call it Argan 100 since it gives 100Kg of nits every year.
Chaim

Chaim said...

This Argan 100 tree sounds completely ridiculous. It just shows you the extent some people will go to. Pure Greed. It seems like stealing."
First: Israel didn't still anything .
second: we have been working on a breading program for the last 25 years to improve the yearly yield of the Argan tree and to improve it's resistance to Fusarium fungi and we succeeded.
we have developed a way to make identical trees from cuttings not from seeds.
we think Argan oil to be the best oil now and forever and will not do anything to hurt the Moroccan oil industry. farther more we offered this new tree verity to the Moroccan people. we call it Argan 100 since it gives 100Kg of nits every year.
Chaim

MD. ALMAN MAHAMUD NAIM said...

Thanks for the tips! They were really helpful!

"argan oil"