ACA Seal Approval Awarded to First Cashew Processing Factory
On May 25, Tolaro Global, a cashew processing factory located in Parakou, Benin, became the first processor to be awarded the ACA Quality and Sustainability Seal.
The ACA Quality and Sustainability Seal is an industry-supported mark signaling compliance with international food safety, quality, and labor standards. During the past five months, Tolaro Global has been implementing the Seal program, working with the ACA Seal team to develop systems to ensure the production of high quality and sustainable cashew. With the support of Technoserve, trainings and exercises focused on issues ranging from HAACP systems to traceability procedures to salary plans. The dedicated management team addressed all recommendations, until, on May 25, a final audit confirmed that Tolaro Global had achieved the necessary standards to be approved for the ACA Seal.
Jace Rabe, CEO of Tolaro Global, expressed his huge excitement at being the first processor to receive this distinction. “The ACA Seal has brought us up a whole level to a new playing field,” he said. “We’ve only been processing cashew for a few months now and I can say we can compete with anybody. And I owe that to the motivation the Seal program has put in place.”
“We were so thrilled to partner with Tolaro as our first ACA Seal factory,” said Gillian Epule, ACA Seal Advisor. “The commitment to the program and positive mindset of their entire team have been huge assets throughout the process.” Abdel Abdoulaye Issa, Quality Assurance Manager at Tolaro, returned the praise: "It was very exciting to work with ACA experts to bring our factory to the highest level. The support and encouragement we have received made a huge difference."
Epule proclaimed this to be a milestone achievement for the African cashew sector, as it signals the beginning of a defined international quality standard for cashew kernels of African origin. “Some people say you can’t have quality food producing factories in Africa. And we wanted to prove that wrong,” said Rabe. Now, with ACA Seal Approval, they have done just that.