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Where we get our tiger nuts...
We knew when we started Madame Tiger that sustainability and ethical sourcing of ingredients was going to be super important to us. But what we didn’t expect, is to come across a farming collective quite like the one we found…
It started out by us watching a documentary entitled “Tigernut, homeland of the wholehearted Women”, which was featured at the African Film Festival in Auckland, New Zealand. You know that feeling you often get at the end of a confronting documentary? A wave of anger and a drive to make it right consumes you, but often, sadly there is not a lot you can do to help, although in this case we could.
I got in touch with the film maker and started talking all things tiger nuts and fair trade. It turns out his wife is part of charity setup to support the Mousso Faso farming collective, and together we shared a fierce passion and determination to see these women and their families succeed.
I’ve probably gone a little too far into this without formally introducing Mousso Faso… Well Mousso Faso means ‘homeland of the wholehearted woman’. Mousso Faso is a predominantly female farming collective that was setup in 2017 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso to empower tiger nut farming families to live with dignity.
The cooperative facilitates a trading relationship where farming families band together and sell direct to international customers (like Madame Tiger!) cutting out the “middle man” who seemed to be the source of some devastating problems. The cooperative also exists to improve working conditions, ensure families are paid fairly, for the children of all members to receive an education and to together promote sustainable farming techniques.
It has been refreshing and almost surreal in a year of a global pandemic to strike up a relationship with a female farming collective on the other side of the world and work together to create a longstanding partnership.
We are proud to say that we purchased Mousso Faso’s entire 2020, 2021 and 2022 harvest of tiger nuts. It was a big leap of faith to ship over 6 tons of tiger nuts to Australia for our first order. I think sometimes the people I spoke to along the way thought we were mad, maybe we were… I guess time will tell.
Sustainably farmed, for real!
Tiger nuts are sometimes called earth almonds, the good news is unlike water hungry almonds, tiger nuts only need rain water to grow! That is not a typo, they only need rain water, so yes they are sustainable AF.