Partnership period: May 2016 – May 2018
ACHIEVEMENTS: Tolaro Global received fair trade certification for its cashews in early 2017, allowing it to charge a price premium — a portion of which is passed through to the farmers — when selling in US and European markets. Tolaro had purchased cashews at a premium price from more than 1,500 smallholder farmers by late July 2017, and it is expected that an additional 1,700 smallholders will sell raw cashews to the business in fiscal year 2018.
PURPOSE: Help Benin’s processors and smallholder growers gain significant value-added income from in country processing of cashews for retail sale. More than 40 percent of the world’s raw cashews are grown in West Africa, but more than 90 percent of that crop is exported for roasting, seasoning, and packaging.
APPROACH: During the program partnership, Tolaro Global is establishing an organic and fair trade-certified cashew roasting, seasoning, and packaging plant to sell retail-quality cashews to overseas markets. Tolaro will identify 3,200 smallholder cashew farmers to supply raw cashews to the business and will provide agronomic training to the farmers, assist them in becoming organic-certified, pay fair trade-certified prices for raw nuts, and provide farmers with equity ownership in Tolaro through stock.