KAJOU IN A NUTSHELL
In partnership with local cooperatives, Kajou aims to redefine the current cashew value chain in Cote d’Ivoire by bringing more value to stakeholders including farmers, suppliers, traders, governments, clients and end consumers. By processing the apple cashew fruit directly in Cote d’Ivoire in order to produce two cashew derivatives in the form of juice and flour, we aim to achieve three key objectives:
Offer a socially responsible sourced product to local CPGs in Cote D’Ivoire while providing sustainable and attractive income opportunities to local farmers and their families;
Support development projects that are addressing undernourishment globally by offering cashew fruit byproducts at competitive prices to supplement existing product offer; and
Reduce the existing waste footprint from the cashew fruit in Cote d’Ivoire that results from the existing industrial process.
Short-Term Problem: Cashew Fruit Waste – The current value chain of the cashew nut industry not only poses a great burden on the environment due to extensive cashew fruit waste but also implies a huge economic imbalance that primarily affects 300,000 farmers in Cote d’Ivoire and 2.5 million in West Africa. According to our research, we found that a farmer in the country only receives 1 dollar per Kg compared to 10 dollars that the end consumer is paying. Additional to this, the current value chain leaves behind huge waste from the cashew fruit apple that is not currently part of the industrial process.
Kajou solution – By processing directly the cashew fruit in the Cote D’Ivoire, the largest cashew producer around the world, and creating an internal market for the consumption of cashew juice and flour, we will be able to reduce substantially the food waste while creating a new value chain that will positively contribute the income of producers and other stakeholders related to this process and will create new job opportunities for the communities where we will operate.
Long-Term Problem: Cashew Nut Global Value Chain – The existing global cashew nut value chain puts a lot of pressure on the farmers by allowing a great number of middlemen to add cost to the cashew without adding much value. In our research, we found that the tree cashew nut supply value has grown over 87% over the last 10 years but, when analyzed in depth, we observe that farmers in Africa are receiving a little share of that growth. Additionally, the existing global value chain leaves behind a huge carbon footprint due to the shipping times required to move the raw cashew nut from West Africa to markets like India and Vietnam where the cashew is processed and then sold back to key market across North America, Europe, and Asia.
Kajou solution – In the long run, while we evolve our business model and establish our presence in the local market with our cashew juice and flour products, we will aim to enter into the processing of the cashew nut to sell cashew kernel directly into key markets across North America, Europe, and Asia. By processing the kernel directly in Cote d’Ivoire, we will disrupt the existing value chain and help to better distribute the value chain value across the stakeholders, allowing the farmers to get a better price while end consumers paying a more competitive price.
On the product innovation side, we will aim to transform the cashew fruit waste into two products: Cashew Juice and Cashew Flour. We have found in our research that Cashew Juice is a healthy product with high levels of micronutrients such as Vitamin C and antioxidants while the flour could serve as a supplement of existing flours in the market providing a cheaper alternative in the cooking process. We believe this is an innovation as currently, the industrial processing of cashew fruit is almost non-existing in Cote d’Ivoire leaving a lot of space to innovate and have a real impact on different stakeholders and shareholders.
On the business model innovation side, we aim to redefine the existing value chain which will allow us to be more competitive while supporting the growth and livelihood of farmers around Cote d’Ivoire. To achieve this, we aim in the long-term to develop a cashew digital ecosystem through mobile solutions that will allow the development of a two-sided market in which we can pool the demand from farmers and connect them to different products and services related to logistics, market supplies, mobile banking, and knowledge. With this ecosystem, our farmers will have access to better market information, supplies and services while allowing our providers to manage risk and pool demand from producers.
Social & Environmental impact:
Increased revenue per farmer and per household
New direct and indirect jobs created
Percentage of women in new direct jobs created
Cashew fruit waste reduction