US Businesses Eye Cashew Opportunities in Africa

The ACA is now viewed as a gateway to doing business in Africa by an increasing number and variety of international businesses!  At the annual convention of the Peanut and Treenut Processors Association (PTNPA), numerous cashew buyers met with ACA Managing Director Christian Dahm and ACA Business Advisor Sunil Dahiya to learn about the latest developments in the industry in Africa, newly established processors, and forthcoming investments.From left: ACA's Sunil Dahiya, Christian Dahm, and Advisory Board member Partheeban Theodore, with EC member Jace Rabe (far right)

“I found us in the spotlight, despite the American emphasis at the convention,” observed Dahiya. “Even though we are far from the market in distance, the African cashew business feels closer by working to meet international food safety requirements through the ACA seal.” This feeling was reinforced by a surge of interest in expanding business in Africa - two buyers decided to visit Africa over the coming months in search for sourcing opportunities. A US-based bank enquired on financing opportunities in the sector, while another company sought information on investment opportunities in cashew processing.

“Although we expected that holding the conference in Nigeria could impact international attendance, PTNPA showed us that people are still coming,” noted Dahiya. Kraft Foods, an ACA Advisory Board member, confirmed participation in the

 ACA annual conference in Nigeria. Dahm and Dahiya promoted the ACA annual conference, the world’s largest annual cashew event, while also informing PTNPA participants on ACA services, such as the market information system.

The PTNPA presentation sessions included an update on the rule-making process of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). All cashew buyers present at the sessions emphasized that food safety will top their agenda in the coming years. “Buyers were very enthusiastic about the Seal product, and what is happening with our implementing processors,” mentioned Dahm. A number of buyers expressed interest in partnering with the ACA under the Seal program.

ACA’s participation at the PTNPA convention helped promote African cashew as a significant industry with great potential that has the support around the world. “As a global nut industry advocate,” said Dahia, “PTNPA is talking on our behalf.”