Aldi is to work with an African cashew nut company Cashew Coast to empower female factory workers and farmer communities in the Ivory Coast, as well as encourage more environmentally friendly nut production.
The company sources nuts directly from local farmers in the Ivory Coast and processes them, by employing women from nearby communities.
Three quarters of Cashew Coast’s employees are women, as well as more than 40% of their management team.
Cashew Coast establishes long-term relationships with local farmers, providing training and financial support to not only improve the yield and quality of their cashews, but support the livelihood of farmers and the surrounding community.
The collaboration forms part of Aldi’s push to increase transparency in the nut supply chain. Global cashew supply chains are often complex and involve cultivating the nuts in West and East African countries, while processing takes place in Vietnam.
Cashew Coast processes nuts close to where they are grown – rather than shipping them around the world to be processed thousands of miles away – before exporting them to the UK.
Supporting Cashew Coast helps Aldi achieve traceability and transparency, while also cutting down food miles and supporting the financial independence of a predominantly female workforce.
As part of the collaboration, the supermarket will be launching an African Cashews Specialbuy – available in stores across the UK from 22nd May, with a QR code on-pack to help customers find out more about the journey of the cashew kernel from farm to fork.
Liz Fox, Corporate Responsibility Director at Aldi UK, said “Cashew Coast is tackling a number of issues in the nut supply chain at once – improving sustainable practices, supporting female workers and increasing transparency in the supply chain.
“By collaborating with them, we are offering customers a product that ensures environmentally-friendly and socially responsible production, while also supporting a sustainable network of businesses in the Ivory Coast.”
Salma Seetaroo, Co-founder and CEO of Cashew Coast, said: “Local sourcing and processing means quality for the consumer, meaningful livelihoods for African women and their families, and the smallest possible carbon footprint. We are delighted to work with Aldi to bring the very best cashews to the UK market.”
Aldi has revealed a wish list of priority locations across the country where it is looking to build new stores.