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Challenges

The main challenge of Afokantan (part of Trade Development International) is to become competitive with the highly advanced factories in India and Vietnam. To achieve this, Afokantan will need to further expand its processing capacity but also the marketing of by-products such as broken cashews and the cashew shells. Further investments are required for this so that an integrated cashew processing industry can be realized.

Planning

To be able to process cashew nuts on a competitive basis the factory needs to improve its capacity, integration and quality over the next four years.

Focus areas of the investment are:

  • Machines that sort according to quality and that package the products.
  • Accurate harmonization of the current production line to increase both the quality and capacity
  • New production lines
  • Processing of by-products such as fuel oil from the cashew shells
  • Generating energy by using waste products as a biofuel.

The factory is also working closely with farmer groups to increase their production and to enable them to obtain (organic) certification.

Impact

The expansion plans of Afokantan will result in the following developments by the start of 2021:

  • A new 500 m2 production hall
  • 250 new employees
  • The capacity to work with 2000 new farmers who will jointly deliver 7500 metric tonnes of nuts to the factory

Updates

There are no updates available for this project yet.

References

“Integrity, unity and respect are core values in our factory. We express these values in our entire factory community, including the clients and suppliers. Because they also see and experience that these values are good for the factory and the surrounding community”.

Charles Kayembe from Benin

When is a factory a Fair Factory? We believe that investing in a factory has a positive effect on the entire community. Farmers, employees and other actors in the chain increase their income and can therefore invest as well. Not just in their own company but also in health and their children’s school fees.

However, such a positive development can only be realized if there is mutual trust. Which is why shared values are so important. We refer to these as the Fair Factory Values. The company owner chooses, together with employees, farmers and other actors, to work according to these values in a manner that is appropriate to the local context.

Charles Kayembe, director of cashew factory Afokantan in Benin tells us how he has given ethical values a place in his factory.

“Integrity, unity and respect are core values in our factory. We express these values in our entire factory community, including the clients and suppliers. Because they also see and experience that these values are good for the factory and the surrounding community”.

The importance of integrity
Charles explains his story with an example: “If somebody steals a kilo of cashew nuts, then he not only steals from the factory but also at the expense of his colleagues’ work. Stronger still: if that happens on a large scale, the factory could go bankrupt. That would cost hundreds of jobs and would be an enormous setback for the farmer because he or she would lose his permanent sales channel. It is only an example. But I hope it illustrates how values such as integrity has a positive effect throughout a community.”

Biblical leadership
The Fair Factory Values are important for realizing the desired results. But Biblical leadership, in particular, is what Charles sees as the route to success: “It is my deepest conviction that leadership according to God’s Word and honour is the only way to achieve genuine success. Whether that is in a social organization or a commercial company. The Bible contains many examples of leaders who knew that they were dependent on God. Moses, Solomon, Joshua and Caleb are a few examples. They did not always see themselves as real leaders. Nevertheless in God’s strength they did big things”.

Similarity
“During my work as director of the cashew factory Afokantan in Benin I try to implement Biblical leadership in practice. I feel supported in this by the shareholders, who have jointly agreed that Afokantan will develop into a Fair Factory. We were already working according to ethical principles but the shareholders have stated that they wish to continue doing this and to extend this further with a clear focus on the importance of the community”.

I like working in the factory, because I now have a fixed income

Justine from Benin

From the Fair Factory Development Fund we invest in local processing plants so that there is sufficient capacity to process the products of the farmers. This directly creates jobs in the local community: from factory employee to transporter. The employees are therefore assured of a fixed income. With this, for example, they can pay school fees for the children, such as Justine (31) from Benin.

Permanent job with fair salary

Justine has been working at the cashew nut factory for three years now. She is married and has two sons Tchin Tchin Chabel (4) and Tchin Tchin Daryle (2). Her husband also works at the factory, he has had a permanent job with a fair salary for seven years. Justine is very happy with her job at the factory, before that she was unemployed and her father supported her financially. Now she earns with this job under good working conditions between 60 and 100 euros per month. Justine works at the Classification department, where she checks the quality of the cashew nut daily. This is very important, because good cashew nuts provide the factory with more income, which directly benefits the cashew nut farmers.

Security

Justine: “My parents are farmers in the countryside, but I prefer to work in the factory. Because now we have security, because we know exactly what we earn with our fixed income. On the farm, the income was always very variable. Because of my work in the cashew nut factory, I can actually pay school fees when my children go to school. I am very proud of that. We currently do not keep much of the money we earn, but we want to start saving in the future in order to create a bright future for the family.

The Afokantan community consists of:

3000

farmers

deliver cashew nuts to the factory

800

factory employees

cracking, cleaning, sorting and packaging the nuts

5

escorts

assist and train the farmers

1

customer

sells the nuts worldwide

3

Fair Factory employees

are involved from Woord & Daad / Incluvest

You?

See how you can contribute to this community!

Taking part!

Want to be part of this community?

You can contribute to the Fair Factory Development Fund. For example, through a donation in the fund. Your donation enables us to invest from the fund in various factories in different countries. You can also contribute to our fund as a participant.

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