African Origins is the leading Kalahari Melon Oil producer in the world. We are located in the North West Province of South Africa, and our story starts over ten years ago.
A climate change intervention.
For thousands of years before that, the bitter-tasting Kalahari Melon was thought of as a worthless weed and ignored by most farmers. The only real use for it was as cattle fodder in years of drought, and as a result they mostly removed it from lands in favour of planting other crops. However, over the last 15-20 years the climate has been changing. Droughts and erratic rainfall have become the new norm, posing huge problems for farmers.
Ten years ago, when our region was hit by the worst drought in 80 years, we took a second look at the Kalahari Melon. As we looked closer at the properties of this resilient plant, we found that the seeds contained a unique oil that had high levels of essential fatty acids, but was also stable. This set it apart from other plant oils. Furthermore, the plant’s drought resistant biology meant the ingredient’s sustainability profile was second-to-none. It was also indigenous to our region, meaning it has always been there as part of the natural ecology of the area.
Creating a brand new economy in a remote part of the world.
Today, from marginal land in a drought-prone part of the world, our Kalahari Melon oil is creating a new economy that can impact remote communities being affected by climate change.
Over time we have developed and scaled our manufacturing capabilities for Kalahari Melon oil, and began marketing the ingredient to the cosmetics companies worldwide. We had some early success with sales to the UK and Japan, and have continued to extend our reach since then. Today, we are proud to say that we have sold our Kalahari Melon oil to cosmetics distributors, formulators and brands across the world, on every continent except Antarctica.