Walmart will now carry products made by Tumwater company Alaffia in 3,600 locations around the U.S. The products appeared in Walmart stores in early March and are now being distributed to locations across the country.
Alaffia’s founders are Tumwater residents, and husband and wife team, Olowo-n’djo Tchala and Prairie Rose Hyde.
“Our products are handcrafted using unique West African traditions that retain the natural qualities of indigenous shea nuts, coconut oil and herbs,” said Hyde, whose background in biochemistry and plant botany allow her to perfect Alaffia’s recipes. “This is all done with sustainable harvesting and fair-trade practices that ensure people are paid fairly and treated ethically —a mandatory for us.”
Alaffia currently employs and contracts over 14,000 people in West Africa. Contract “gatherers,” who are mostly women, collect and create raw product ingredients at Alaffia cooperatives in Togo and Ghana. Ingredients are then shipped to Alaffia’s headquarters in Tumwater. The Tumwater location currently employs 145 people.
Walmart’s decision to carry Alaffia products will add 60 jobs in Tumwater. Additionally, thousands of job opportunities will be created in West Africa. This also means more funding for the company’s women’s empowerment projects.
“Rose and I founded Alaffia to alleviate poverty and empower women and families in Africa and the U.S.,” said the Togo-born Tchala. “This partnership with Walmart puts more of our fair-trade products in the homes of U.S. consumers. That means even more women and children will have access to education, medical care and the ability to be self-sufficient by working in Alaffia enterprises.”
Following the announcement, Acting Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Donald Yamamotovisited Alaffia’s headquarters in Tumwater.