The cashew nut industry is often criticised for its working conditions, which lead to numerous health problems, such as burns on the hands. The scandal of the working conditions behind cashew nut shelling broke in 2019. The general public discovered Indian workers with hands burnt by the acidity of the nuts they shell all day long. Although Africa produces more than half of the world’s cashew nuts, more than 85% of the crop is exported to Asia for shelling at low prices.
The measures implemented by KASANA
- KASANA’s cashew nuts are harvested and shelled in Burkina Faso. A shelling machine has been made available to the workers in order to encourage this transformation on site.
- The burns are caused by prolonged contact with the nuts in shell. In order to limit this contact, the Chouboupi cooperative, with which KASANA collaborates for its cashew nut supply chain, owns a sorting machine to grade the nuts.
- The nuts in shell are also pre-heated with steam and then cooled for 24 hours. This method drastically reduces the acid released by the nuts and therefore the risk of burns that can occur during the processing stages which cannot be mechanised.
- The workers also protect their hands with vegetable oil.