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A New Collective of Somali Women Takes on the Male-dominated Frankincense Industry 

Since its founding in 2008, doTERRA has built its brand on a promise of ethical sourcing. But a two-year investigation by the Fuller Project found women working for the company’s frankincense supplier Asli Maydi were underpaid and required to work in harsh conditions. Multiple women accused Asli Maydi’s politically powerful owner Hassan of sexual harassment and assault. The Fuller Project article led doTERRA to suspend operations with Asli Maydi; several weeks later the women registered their collective. Beeyo Maal, which means the “milkers of frankincense”, is based in Erigavo, a major city in the self-declared republic of Somaliland, and it was registered as a business with Somaliland’s ministry of trade and tourism in January. It empowers about 280 women to run their own business in the male-dominated frankincense industry.