We buy cashew and macadamia from our farmer groups and process the raw nuts in our factories in order to sell the kernels to the global food industry.

The problem

  • 783 million people live below the international poverty line of US$1.90 a day.
  • Poverty means a lack of food, lack of access to clean water, electricity, schooling, medical care, resulting in high child mortality rate ao.

How nuts can help

  • Nut farming provides a solid source of income to African families.
  • When the raw material is processed in a local factory this provides work and income to not only factory workers but also a long term off take to suppliers of packing material and equipment.

The opportunity of nuts

  • While Africa accounts for 56% of the world’s production of cashews e.g., only processing 5% of the world’s cashews are processed in Africa.
  • This represents an enormous opportunity for economic development of Africa. If all African cashews would be processed at source, over 150 larger factories would be required.
  • This would generate over 170.000 factory jobs (even considering higher levels of mechanisation) and (based on rule of thumb) another 2.2 indirect jobs in supplying businesses for each of those factory workers.

What we do about it

  • Since 1993 TradeDevelopment International is active in the market of nuts and dried fruits. Orignally as a broker, but from 2004 also as an African processor.
  • Through the buying of nuts (as opposed to brokering), TDI can apply fair trade conditions and agree fair prices with supplying farmers (4241 in 2018).
  • Through it’s investments in own facilities, TDI managed to create both direct and indirect jobs in the local economies of Burkina Faso and Benin. In 2018 the factories employed 1540 factory workers.
  • 80% of those are female, providing income to families and supporting the independence of women.

Supporting local farmers

  • To support farmer groups to improve their revenues and income, we have years of intensive cooperation with the Dutch development organisation Woord en Daad and consultancy firm FairMatch Support. This strategic partnership provides for training in pre- and post harvest activities, basic pruning techniques, orchard keeping and beekeeping. (benefits of beekeeping explained on Youtube) All these activities have an important effect on the yield per tree.
  • The strategic partnership is also instrumental in supporting our farmers to obtain both organic as well as fair-trade certificates, which result in premium prices to the farmers, as they are paid in Western markets. These premiums are used in the villages to build schools and clinics for example.


This is a clip about our processing facility in Burkina Faso.