You'll Love Their Nuts.

Indonesia
By:: 
Ruby Tan

East Bali Cashews are super addictive, socially and environmentally-conscious nuts made with love from start to finish in the Island of the Gods.

East Bali Cashews - Product - Asia For Good

In 2012, founder Aaron Fishman, was volunteering with an NGO in Bali, when he found out that the impoverished cashew-producing communities on the island were shipping their nuts to India and Vietnam for processing.

Realising that there was now an opportunity to provide training and employment to the local underprivileged Desa Ban community – the ones who grow and harvest the cashews – he roped in four local investors and created East Bali Cashews, today employing 385 villagers and counting.

And thank goodness he did, because this social enterprise is now doing all sorts of wonderful things – and satisfying us peckish folks with some of the most addictive, natural snacks around. The social enterprise has gone from strength to strength - stocked at most supermarkets in Bali and sold online at Amazon and Redmart. East Bali Cashews is in Singapore for The Good Market, a social enterprise showcase at the Singapore Coffee Festival presented by Asia For Good

Aaron Fishman of East Bali Cashews - Asia For Good

Cashews are total superfoods. They help lower cholesterol levels, improve heart health, are a good source of fibre and protein, help control blood sugar levels and loads more. It's not just good for you, but is good for the earth as well – cashew trees are fast-growing and drought-tolerant, and able to produce nuts for up to 50 years.

Social empowerment initiatives include employing and training the Desa Ban community – 95% of them women, giving management positions to the locals, and purchasing raw cashews from over 1,500 small-scale cashew tree plantation owners. They've also built preschools in each of their 12 production facilities, providing schooling, meals and showers to the children before mum takes them home at the end of her shift.

In a bid to make things easier for the remote community, the company also began filling the empty, returning delivery trucks, with essentials like rice, sugar, sanitary pads, etc., and selling them at very low prices.

Besides their social efforts, East Bali Cashews has also created an environmentally-friendly process for the production of their snacks. The tons of cashew shells that get left behind is burnt as fuel in their drying machines, and the leftover biochar is used as a fertiliser – no waste! (Psst: Check out the plantation-to-packet process through a photo slideshow here). The social enterprise also works closely with the small-scale farmers, sharing research information to help them farm more efficiently.

East Bali Cashews Asia For Good - processing

Popular flavours are the Native (with just a thin layer of skin still left on, for a saltier and sharper taste), Sea Salt, and Chilli Crunch (5SGD [approx. 3.70USD] a bag from Redmart.sg; 39.99USD for a box of 15 packs from Amazon.com).

Where to buy:

East Bali Cashews has several distributors in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, is stocked in most supermarkets in Indonesia and sells from online mega-retailer, Amazon and RedmartThey are stocked in Bali, (No. A, Jl. Padang Galak No.20) and Jakarta (Studio XX1, Jalan Gatok Subrono Kav. 19). Prices vary from retailer to retailer but start at about SGD$5 for a 70g packet.
 

If you'd like to taste East Bali Cashews (EBC) come by the Singapore Coffee Festival, and visit EBC's booth at The Good Market, presented by Asia For Good. To hear moreabout sustainable sourcing and socially responsible supply chains, check outFrom bean to belly: Where do your products come from? a conversation over coffee at Socially Conscious Sunday.

There are a host of socially conscious food and beverage companies exhibiting at the festival, including another Indonesian food and beverage social enterprise called Kakoa Chocolate who are running a coffee and chocolate pairing. Sign up to receive our newsletter at the event and you'll receive a free, limited edition Asia For Good tumbler - made of eco-friendly rice-husk and perfect for your daily cuppa. 

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