New Member Highlight: Agro Fronan

This month we are highlighting our new member, Agro Fronan. Agro Fronan is a cashew nut processing plant based in Katiola, Cote d’Ivoire. Although the plant has been functional since 2015, the group started full production at the beginning of the 2016 season. It is their mission to not only contribute to the enhancement of the cashew industry through increasing product value and overall value of exports by processing, but also help their local community through reducing unemployment and improving income. Within the local market, Agro Fronan sells roasted cashews, cashew paste, and cashew-based soap to hotels, restaurants, and individuals. Agro Fronan also has an export contract with Germany and Israel.

Over the past two years, Agro Fronan has truly grown. From 2014 to 2015, the group was started, the plant was built, and the equipment was acquired. From 2015 to 2016, personnel were recruited, the supply of raw materials was organized, manual production was started, commercialization was started, and more. Market disruptions due to fluctuation of the raw materials as well as lack of organization within the cashew sector of the company’s region remain the most significant challenges for Agro Fronan. However, the company benefits from its location in the middle of a high RCN production zone as well as high availability of workers. The company’s future socio-economic objectives are greater employment of women and young people within the area and total absorption of local cashew production leading to greater income for producers. Production objectives are to process 2,500 to 3,000 tons of cashews in the upcoming season and to find values for processing waste, such as production of solid fuels through hulls and extraction of CNSL for the manufacture of lubricants.

Agro Fronan was motivated to join the ACA for several reasons. These include the access to regular information about national and international market conditions, interactions with other actors in the sector, knowledge sharing at conferences, access to working capital and investment funds, and technical assistance. For the company, the most important ACA service will be the ACA seal, which will expand exporting abilities and the business’ horizons.