Fairly Traded. Sustainable. Reliable. Renewable.
Located in Gabane, Botswana and incorporated in 2014, DLG-BW is a producer of fairly traded, high quality, cold-pressed marula oil for the international cosmetic industry. Its sister company in the United States, DLG Naturals, Inc., sources natural, indigenous, and sustainable oils from the best producers in Southern African and supplies cosmetic manufacturers throughout the world.
DLG BW was co-founded, launched, and operated by company directors Alexander Lahti and Brianna McClurg during 2016. The company is presently managed by company directors Georgia Duerst-Lahti and Tris Lahti. DLG BW maintains a country-wide wild-harvesting network. It then produces natural cosmetic oils from botanicals sourced through that system. These oils are distributed internationally.
The results are threefold:
• Creating jobs where unemployment is high, especially for women
• Developing a vast rural harvesting network, offering countless tangential opportunities
• Building the foundation of a natural products industry based upon the wild harvesting and processing of indigenous fruit oils
Good business practices are the foundation of this company and sustainability is the frame:
• Economic Stability: This beautiful country has countless marketable natural resources, yet minimal access to them on an industrial scale. Our vision is to create that accessibility and stimulate an entirely new industry.
• Social responsibility: Botswana is a party of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization. By helping to ensure benefit-sharing, the Nagoya Protocol creates incentives to conserve and sustainably use genetic resources, and therefore enhances the contribution of biodiversity to development and human well-being. From this perspective, most harvesters are women. DLG’s harvest network gives them more economic freedom in the household as they earn income.
• Business Sustainability: Botswana has a disheartening history for wild-harvesting. Far too frequently, entrepreneurs have offered the rural poor wild-harvesting opportunities only to never return. We have pledged to avoid such a fate, by contracting with harvesters, forging expense-reducing systems, maintaining internal controls, and employing exceptional training.
• Environmental Sustainability: Our production focus is on oil from marula, a plant we in part chose for its prolific nature. The marula fruit offers not only an incredible oil but also pulp for food and beverages, shells for landscaping, fuel, and activated charcoal, seed cake as animal food, and other potentially marketable products. After assessing environmental sustainability thoroughly, we know that DLG's maximum production rates will require harvesting less than 5% of annual marula fruit in Botswana. Moving forward, we will implement a marula tree planting program to counter ongoing and devastating loss of marula seedlings to cows and goats.
Do well... to do good: Why Profits Are Important
Our business goals: Growth--across Botswana, through more botanical lines, and inside the fast-growing natural products sector. As a first-mover DLG’s nonprofit-mission, for-profit model is challenging, but economic growth with conscious profitability is the best way to fight poverty.
begins with a moment of clarity:
When working on women's empowerment for the US State Department in Albania, lightning struck. Dr. Georgia Duerst-Lahti, now our CEO, saw how little local widows earned from stoop labor wild-harvesting, and a vision for a better world began.
The vision evolved into our mission-driven, market-driven company, Duerst Lahti Global, LLC., with the motto of "Do More Good."
Established in 2008, Duerst Lahti Global, LLC. quickly evolved into a holding company with five companies, including DLG Naturals BW (Pty) Ltd. as subsidiaries. Duerst Lahti Global, LLC. and its companies uphold the highest of industry standards as we create jobs for the rural poor. With a focus in Southern African botanical ingredients, we offer new and innovative cosmetic oils to the US and global market, and with continued growth, provide income to thousands of harvesters.
To ensure quality products, Duerst Lahti Global, LLC invests in the supply chain: Our own African production facilities, a well-developed cadre of specialists and experts, and an extensive network of wild-harvesters. Years of development allows us to deliver world-class botanical oils and butters to cosmetic manufacturers.
Individuals can achieve improved health and well-being through the use of natural and organic products.
Better lives happen by using nontoxic products. For workers and harvesters, income opens doors, providing security and the means to take the next steps in life.
We best accomplish our goals through small farming communities and cooperatives in developing countries and by attending to our workers. We use fair trade practices, sustainable agriculture that optimizes existing resources, and production based upon strong, “Africa-proof” manufacturing.
"To create a rural middle class of producers and healthy lives for all."
Co-founders Brianna McClurg and Alexander Lahti celebrating the Botswana 50th anniversary of Botswana independence.