Last week, the Moringa Partnership announced an equity investment in Tolaro Global, a processor and exporter of cashew nuts located in Benin. The investment is being made through Moringa SICAR SCA, the impact investment firm’s €84 million investment vehicle. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The capital will be used to help Tolaro expand its development of sustainable and ethical cashew production. The company aims to increase its cashew processing capacity to 20,000 tonnes by 2021, a significant leap from the 2,500 tonnes processed in 2016. In addition, Tolaro is looking to set up a salting and roasting unt, thereby becoming the first company in West Africa to export 100% “Made in Africa” cashew end products.
According to Hervé Bourguignon, Moringa’s Managing Partner, the cashew market is worth $5 billion, driven by strong demand in India, the USA and Europe, in particular. While West Africa is currently the leading region for cashew growth, most processing is still undertaken in Asia. In developing a local processing capability, Tolaro is presented with significant opportunity for expansion and growth.
Tolaro was launched in 2008, and currently employs around 600 people, half of whom are women. The firm works with 7,000 farmers currently. In achieving its expansion plans, the firm expects to employ an additional 1.900 people and buy in cashews from up to 30,000 farmers.