The Product

Setting up a business of establishing a sustainable Supply Chain for the hitherto commercially unused Allanblackia oil has been manifested from earlier efforts by Unilever R&D, Netherlands to set up a venture, ‘Project Novella’ to pursue that objective.
Novel Developments Tanzania seeks to further develop this project into a profitable business supplying a unique product, Allanblackia oil to the high-value foods manufacturing industry.


Allanblackia oil is a natural, non-GMO, vegetable fat that can, like other traditional oils, be used in the manufacture of food and non-food products. It consists almost exclusively of triglycerides of stearic- and oleic fatty acids. These components are and have always been part of the human diet. One unique property of Allanblackia oil is that it is naturally solid at room temperature and therefore allows production of a more natural spread. Additionally, this fat also contributes to increased the level of sustainable / renewable raw materials when incorporated in food products


This business will be rural area-based in Tanzania and will seek as its major objective(s) to


1. Contribute substantially to the generation of additional incomes to rural farmers thus improving their livelihoods,
2. Develop this business based initially on sustainable practices and harvesting natural Allanblackia resource growing wild in forest areas in the short term and from planted materials in the medium to longer term.
3. Contribute to the development and expansion of rural based enterprises as direct participants in the venture and also as spin-offs from our activities.


Allanblackia is currently a subject of global attention especially with research agencies working on propagation and domestication and also with NGOs interested in the sustainable use of this product to benefit the environment and the rural poor. The websites,    and    provide extra information on the development of Allanblackia


Currently, the market for Allanblackia is centred on production and delivery to Unilever Netherlands, a guaranteed buyer for the production of margarine and to Unilever Tanzania on a smaller scale for the production of soap. The projected production estimates of Allanblackia oil in the next decade will however not be able to satisfy the stated demand levels of even Unilever alone. This therefore confirms the growth potential of this product.


Based on the initiative of Unilever a few years ago, the Allanblackia ‘project’ has attracted various international partners including the World Conservation Union (IUCN), World Agro forestry Centre (ICRAF), SNV, Swiss Government Agency for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Dutch Government (EVD) who have in various ways contributed substantially, especially to the research aspects of the venture.


Setting up an Alternative source of Sustainable oil as this business wants to achieve, is a contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in a developing country like Tanzania. Areas of direct impact on livelihoods of participants include, naming a couple,


* Eradication of Poverty and Hunger through additional income generation
*Improve Environment through sustainable use of natural resources and encouragement of biodiversity.
*Financing of this Business venture is a challenge. Funding is required to support the purchase of capital items and also for sustaining the overheads and running costs of this business until project break-even in 3 years time.


The product, Allanblackia oil is a natural, non-GMO, vegetable fat that can, like other traditional oils, be used in the manufacture of food and non-food products. It consists almost exclusively of triglycerides of stearic- and oleic fatty acids. These components are and have always been part of the human diet.


These seeds contain an edible fat that is suitable to make food products like spreads or to make detergents like soap. Unilever and other food manufacturing companies have traditionally used comparable fats to manufacture both types of product. This presents an opportunity with the use of AB fat as a potential business opportunity


In order to produce spreads, a mix of liquid and solid oils are required. Very few vegetable oils are solid at room temperature. Therefore the oils have to be modified by either interesterification and/or hydrogenation to make them solid. Allanblackia oil is naturally solid at room temperature and therefore allows us to produce a more natural spread. Additionally, this fat also enables us to increase the level of sustainable / renewable raw materials in products because it is harvested from the wild, organically and in a sustainable way following this business proposition of Novel Developments Tanzania.


At the same time, Developing the Supply of Allanblackia oil can also contribute towards positive developments and the realisation of the Millenium Development Goals
Reducing poverty (contributing to the income of local populations), contributing to sustaining the environment and developing sustainable supply chains belong to the positive developments that have been identified. Combining these goals is a unique opportunity that we wish to pursue.