The business activity started in 2006 with dried mangos by sourcing dried fruits from groups of farmers and then testing, cutting and packaging them. However, due to repeated quality deficiencies, the company increasingly invested in its own facilities. The idea of supplementing the seasonal dry mango production with the year-round processing of cashew nuts arose early on. Because then, as now, Burkina Faso cashews are exported as raw nuts to India and processed there, which means that the country loses the added value of the end product. In order to finance Burkina Faso cashew production, dried mangoes were sold at a premium and the money collected was invested in the first cashew processing plant.
Today the company buys both mangoes and raw cashew nuts from local cooperatives and processes them in its own factory. The company’s own facilities guarantee a minimum quantity of high quality goods on the one hand and serve as model units and for training purposes on the other. This increases the quality of the products from the region and thus their marketability in general.
The elaborate processing of cashew nuts is done exclusively by hand. Today the company processes 1400 tons of unpeeled cashew nuts annually into 300 tons of ready-to-consume cashews. The harvest takes place from January to June, the processing all year round. If the conditions are right, raw cashew nuts can be stored without any loss of quality.
The processing process starts with steaming the raw cashew nuts to neutralize the toxin Cartol in the shell. Then the outer hard shell is cracked and the nuts are dried. After drying, the nuts are treated with thermal shock to facilitate peeling of the fine skin. Finally, the nuts are sorted and vacuum packed.
Today, 457 people work at the company and 3250 farming families benefit from long-term sales, organic and Fairtrade prices for their products and training in organic farming. For the producers, the premiums for organic farming, pre-financing and purchase guarantees as well as the avoidance of intermediate trade are decisive added values, as Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Since 2018, Pakka has been a co-owner.