East Bali Cashews: Helping Balinese Local Workers While Producing Eco-Friendly & High-Quality Cashews



East Bali Cashews:  Helping Balinese Local Workers While Producing Eco-Friendly & High-Quality Cashews


ALAMENTE! East Bali Cashews (EBC) is the first large-scale cashew processing facility in Bali and one of the first village-based facilities in Southeast Asia. East Bali Cashews buy directly from farmers and process in the village. Their method is unlike the vast majority of the world’s cashews that are shipped thousands of miles to a processing factory along the way passing through more than 4 to 5 traders.


EBC was founded by Mr. Aaron Fishman. It all began almost 2 years ago when Mr. Aaron and his wife found themselves volunteering with and NGO in Bali. Coincidentally, they arrived during cashew season. When Mr. Aaron taught the public health staff about wound care and nutrition, they were taught by the locals about cashews. And upon learning that the impoverished region of East Bali ships their cashews to India and Vietnam for processing, he saw an opportunity to provide jobs, training, education, and produce uniquely “local” cashew. Within a very short time period, Mr. Aaron was able to garner the support of 4 local investors and launched East Bali Cashews. In the first year, the company produced 180 tons of cashews, created 130 new jobs, and employed a 90% female workforce.


The factory of East Bali Cashews is located in Desa Ban, only hours from the luxurious villas of South Bali and the many tourist hotspots. Desa Ban is a collection of villages that is perched between two volcanoes. With an average income of $2 per day, EBC hopes top improve the lives of the people of Desa Ban by providing an additional source of income, empowering women through employment and education, and teaching local farmers to improve their soil and maximize their production.  


EBC currently sell both raw and roasted cashews with 6 different flavors, garlic with black pepper, chili with palm sugar, sea salt, sesame with ginger, shallot with chili and sea salt, and chocolate. Aside from cashews, EBC also manufacture and sell granola, dried fruits, hibiscus, and many other unique agricultural products of Indonesia. EBC sells their cashews locally and to the many different islands of Indonesia. They now plan to export to the United States and are in the process of creating a new brand that will better suit the US market. Mr. Aaron states that EBC will continue to move forward with its effort to provide high quality cashews to the international market and at the same time empowering and bringing positive transformation to the region of East Bali.


From their wide selections of roasted cashews to their unique take on hibiscus, the region of East Bali and its people remain to be the heart and soul of their business. Mr. Aaron Fishman has the goal and passion to transform the lives of the people living in East Bali. Aaron believes that community development is best achieved and sustained through empowering people, especially women. Mr. Aaron states that study after study have shown that in developing countries, women who earn money are more likely to spend it on education and health than men. He also mentioned that there are almost no employment opportunities for women in Northeastern Bali. In addition, the region is known for rampart alcoholism, gambling, poor school attendance, and numerous poverty-related health problems. Therefore, East Bali Cashews hopes to make a difference by providing jobs for women and opportunities for success. EBC believes that as guardians of health and education within the family, women working at East Bali Cashews must not only earn money to invest in their children, but are encouraged to develop their management skills. The short term goal of East Bali Cashews includes building the region’s first preschool that will be located right next to the factory.    


East BaliCashews & Indonesia

Indonesian Trade Promotion Center Los Angeles met with Mr. Aaron Fisman and was introduced to East Bali Cashews for the first time during the 59th Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, NY. During the interview with ITPCLA, Mr. Aaron warmly welcomed ITPCLA and expressed His deep love for Bali. When we asked him about the potential of more and more Indonesian products coming in to the United States, Mr. Aaron said the demand for Indonesian agricultural products is higher than ever. From coconut oil, palm sugar, organic rice, to cashews, Mr. Aaron sees a great potential for more and more Indonesian agricultural products to penetrate the US market. He also added that there is big opportunity today to plant and grow more products in Indonesia in order to increase export. However, Mr. Aaron also mentioned about the high cost to export from Indonesia and the many regulations that makes it difficult to export.


Mr. Aaron hopes that the government will continue to improve trade regulations in Indonesia and better facilitate manufacturers in their efforts to expand to the international market. Nonetheless, Mr. Aaron mentioned that his experience in working with the Ministry of Trade of Indonesia is his most positive so far. He is pleased with the ongoing effort by the Ministry of Trade to promote export and nurture Indonesia’s growing economy. Mr. Aaron is grateful to be supported by the Indonesian Trade Representatives here in the United States, in terms of supporting East Bali Cashews and helping to promote his product here in the US. Mr. Aaron is especially impressed with the vast network of Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade here in the United States.


Before concluding the interview, ITPCLA also had the chance to ask Mr. Aaron about his upcoming projects. Mr. Aaron said that in 2 months time, EBC is planning to double production and employ an additional 100 workers. He is excited to launch the new brand of EBC that will specifically be targeted for the US market.


ITPCLA will continue to build relationship with Mr. Aaron Fishman and East Bali Cashews, and promote Indonesia's high quality cashews to potential US buyers.


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