Boosting Ivorian cashews to go global
From butter to soap, a national cashew expo in Côte d’Ivoire showcases the diversity of local production that’s ready to sell overseas
Twenty exhibitors showcased the innovative and premium cashew products on offer in Côte d’Ivoire, from cashew butter to juice, chocolate, honey, kernel oil, and soap.
The National Exposition–Cashew Connect Côte d’Ivoire ran from 24-25 November in Abidjan. The event included panels on how local processing supports women and youth, how to access finance, and how to strengthen engagement with local institutions.
The Ivorian Cotton and Cashew Council organized the event in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC), with support from the United Kingdom Trade Partnerships (UKTP) Programme.
“We are very happy to showcase the different cashew nut derivatives to the Ivorians and promote its consumption,” said Anne Mireille Tolou, marketing director at the Coprodigo cooperative, which was among the exhibitors.
Florence Aizan, founding director of the company AGF, explained her business’s Mamichi brand of cashew milk. AGF partnered with the European Institute for Cooperation and Development to research how to make milk from broken cashew kernels. AGF now sources raw material from processing cooperatives to produce the milk. The company is organising tastings to encourage people to drink the cashew milk.
Souleymane Diarrassouba – Minister of Trade, Industry, and the Promotion of SMEs – noted that Côte d’Ivoire is the world’s biggest producer of raw cashew nuts. Cashew is a priority product in the government’s National Development Plan, placing particular emphasis on the processing and producing of finished products.
Cashew Connect Côte d’Ivoire was conceived by ITC with the Ivorian cashew community under the UKTP’s aid for trade agenda. The UKTP programme supports the National Exposition to create field-to-factory business linkages. This allows high-quality cashew nuts to be processed locally in an integrated, sustainable, and resilient value chain. Ensuring robust ties among actors in the local value chain improves the capacity of Ivorian cashew to supply international markets.
Another component of Cashew Connect was a business-to-business event on 1-3 December 2021, which linked Ivorian processors and exporters with importers from the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe.
About the Programme
The UK Trade Partnerships (UKTP) Programme builds on the multiple benefits of economic partnership agreements with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to increase exports from their SME suppliers to the United Kingdom and the European Union. In Côte d’Ivoire, it focuses on increasing exports of cashews and tropical fruits as way to create jobs. The UKTP Programme is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is implemented by the International Trade Centre.