1st Edition

The Moroccan Argan Trade
Producer Networks and Human Bio-Geographies

ISBN 9780367423599
Published April 6, 2020 by Routledge
132 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations

USD $60.00

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Book Description

This book provides one of the most detailed and comprehensive examinations of the Moroccan argan tree, the products derived from it and its cultural significance.

The Moroccan argan trade is booming, but as the tree provides important ecological functions and plays an important role, both financially and culturally, for the Amazigh (Berber) people it has become a key topic of debate. This book thoroughly examines the production stories, benefits and impacts and provides a value-chain analysis which compares different cooperatives and approaches to production. It assesses the fair-trade approaches and attempts at sustainable production of the bio-trade resource. While being a vital source of income, the argan tree has a significant cultural importance to the Indigenous people and the book assesses the impact of the argan trade on their well-being, community and livelihoods. It examines Indigenous knowledge and intellectual property issues relating to the trade, as well as Berber-state law and politics.

Assessing factors relating to legal and economic geography international trade, socio-cultural and human-nature relationships, the book provides a comprehensive analysis of the argan tree which will appeal to students, scholars and practitioners.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction; 2 Human–plant geographies and the biocultural significance of argan; 3 Legal geographies of argan: scales of nature and knowledge regulation; 4 The argan producer network and value chains: comparing different cooperatives and producers; 5 Women’s producer stories, solidarity and empowerment; 6 Conclusions; Index

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Daniel F. Robinson is Professor in the Environment and Society Group, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia. He is also Academic Lead for the Pacific Region for the UNSW Institute for Global Development and has acted as a researcher and policy advisor for the Access and Benefit-Sharing Capacity Development Initiative, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and several other development programs and environmental agencies. He is the author of Biodiversity, Access and Benefit-Sharing: Global Case Studies (Routledge, 2015) and lead editor of Protecting Traditional Knowledge (Routledge, 2017).


"The Moroccan Argan Trade provides valuable insights into the cooperative-based branch of the argan oil value chain analyzing the pioneering role of its flagship project. The book sheds light on the complex spatial and normative relationalities that co-constitute this trade."Bertram Turner, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

"As a cosmetic ingredient, Argan oil is dubbed "liquid gold." In this book, Robinson looks behind the bottles and bright hair, tracing Argan back to the plains of Morocco. He shows us Argan’s rich social, ecological and economic background, with a focus on the women’s cooperatives that collect and process Argan nuts. This book provides insights into the importance of biodiversity for natural ingredients – and the opportunities and challenges in harnessing such value for local livelihoods."Maria Julia Oliva, Deputy Director & Senior Coordinator for ABS and Policy, Union for Ethical BioTrade