Where do our cashews come from, how do they end up at our warehouse in Barneveld, and how do we make the world a little better? Let us tell you the story behind our organic cashews!

Cashews from the Odisha state

Our cashews come from the Odisha state in India where they are grown on the forest lands as wild cultivation. Since Odisha is full of forest lands, in the 1980s the local forest department decided a unique way to make best use of forest lands: by growing cashews on the forest land. This helps in maintaining green cover, maintaining biodiversity, and self protection of the forest, since locals will not cut the cashew trees. Besides, the cashews give revenue to the department and also helps local communities to get some livelihood.

Harvest and production

The raw cashews are collected when they fall down after maturity, which happens in March, April and May. Every year the production varies due to change in the weather, but the estimate is that there is about 12000 MT after letting a certain percentage of the production for the biodiversity. When it is picking season, on average 25-30 pickers are working in each forest. With 27 forests in the area, this means there are about 700 pickers a day picking the raw cashews! After picking, the raw cashews are boiled, cooled and cut to remove the upper shell.

Improving the workplace

The last couple of years the production methods were considerably improved. Previously, the shells of the cashews were manually removed, but since 2018 this process has been automated. Over 90% of the cutting is now being done by automatic machine. Also the nuts are not anymore picked from the ground after cracking, but the cracked nuts end up in a sorting box after which they are sorted.

Protection of the cashews

Since the cashew forests are wild, there is no human interference during the cultivation. Only local community personnel goes in the forest for the collection of the raw cashew nuts during the harvesting period. The department is the legal owner of the land and therefore responsible for protecting and maintaining the forest in the natural way as much as possible. Wherever they find a vacant place they grow new cashew plants.

More stories?

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Last update: 20-05-2019