2 June 2020, Amsterdam. Tolaro Global (CFC project CFC/2015/06/0032) praised as example of developing Africa’s value chains in the face of the pandemic crisis.
Covid-19 is causing significant disruptions to global supply chains and reinforcing the need to build more resilient supply chains. This creates not only challenges but opportunities for Africa which has greater opportunities by (1) localizing production, (2) diversification of trade partners, and (3) streamlining of commodity value chains. The article in Le Monde cites the example of Tolaro Global as the example of the role Africa could play in a post covid world. Although West Africa produces almost 50% of the global supply of raw cashew nuts, 90% is exported as raw nuts to processors in India and Vietnam. These long value chains are easily disrupted by the pandemic, which creates significant risks to cashew producers in Africa. Tolaro is offering an African alternative to processing cashews in India and Vietnam which creates a cheaper, more resilient and more transparent value chain benefitting producers and consumers alike.
Tolaro Global, with the help of the CFC, has become the leading cashew processing company in Benin. Founded in 2010, the company processes and exports more than 3,500 metric tons (MT) of cashews to premium markets in Europe and the United States. The company buys raw cashews from 7,000 smallholder farmers and employs more than 650 workers, thus creating significant economic impact in Benin.
The CFC is financing the company’s expansion plans. The project entails the acquisition of equipment to increase the processing capacity of Tolaro from 3,500 MT to 20,000 MT by 2023. The number of farmers delivering raw cashew nuts to Tolaro is expected to increase from 7,000 to 15,000 by 2023. The number of factory jobs is expected to increase from 650 to 1,500 over the same period.