ACA Staff Promotes African Cashew Sector at the INC in San Diego, California

On May 30, 2016, ACA Managing Director Dr. Oyewole Babafemi, MIS Manager Olivier Kabre, and Finance Manager Akwasi Adom-Dankwa attended a three day business convention organized by the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) in San Diego, California, United States. The INC Convention brought together more than 1,400 key industry players, including global traders and roasters, to discuss topics such as market dynamics, crops and production forecasts, agricultural and water resources, new findings in health and nutrition, and product innovations.


Alongside a Kenyan delegation (which focused primarily on non-cashew nuts), the African Cashew Alliance served as the sole representative of the African nut industry. The second and third days of the convention focused on various nut value chains, including the cashew.  Harry Sinclair of Kraft Heinz Company, a longtime ACA member, chaired the Cashew round table.  Panelists raised the issue of sustainability, which is closely linked to farm-gate price stability and fair rewards for cashew farmers, both of which are necessary for the security of continued production. With India’s crop still insufficient to satisfy internal consumption and processing demands, and with Vietnam and Brazil facing similar shortages, Africa is perceived to be the next frontier for securing international product demand. Indeed, this could be a great window of opportunity for African producers and processors to position themselves as key players in the industry.


Dr. Oyewole and his team met with a number of global buyers, many of whom were already sourcing their nuts in Africa, but needed more information about the market and potential opportunities in the region. ACA staff seized this opportunity to demonstrate the enormous potential of the African cashew sector, highlighting the benefits that foreign companies, especially roasters and global traders, can gain from supporting the industry. A number of companies expressed strong interest in sourcing directly from Africa or even investing in a factory, with the assistance of ACA as an industry platform.  ACA also held an international partners forum to solicit views on ACA’s proposed areas for implementation over the next five years.  Overall the ACA team found the event both informative and fruitful!