Mr Johnson Thangavel, Managing Director, A.S. Shipping
Agencies Pvt Ltd.
This is a transcript of the exclusive interview of Mr Johnson Thangavel,
Managing Director, A.S. Shipping Agencies Pvt Ltd taken on the occasion of World
Cashew Convention & Exhibition 2018
Brief about your company?
We are a shipping company started during 1962 and moved on to the logistics in all
kind of shipping activities. Mr Prakash is the Chairman and founder of the
In 2017, there was a delay in shipments from Abidjan. How would this year
be? Are the ground situations conducive?
The problem in Abidjan port is high congestion during the cashew season. Last
year especially lots of cocoa shipments were delayed due to price issues. Both
cashews and cocoa had a lot of space issues in the port that resulted in delay in
This year hopefully there won’t be delay because cocoa crop is already in and
during the cashew season, the cocoa shipments may not be there. Delay in
shipment is likely to be minimized.
Now there are reports that one bag of RCN can contain up to one ton. How do
you see this transformation? If this happens, will there be demand for 40 feet
containers than 20 feet containers?
Already there is a considerable demand for 40 feet container in the last 2-3 years.
Two years ago mainly 20 feet containers were used for RCN imports. However, few
years ago, people started to ship in 40 feet container into Vietnam, but that was
not successful because factories are constructed in such a way that the vehicles
cannot be maneuvered for the 40 feet trailer. Now factories have enough space for
movement. Moreover, the freights for different containers of 20 and 40 feet and the
difference were only of 1.3 times, which are 600 USD for 20 feet and 800 USD for
40 feet. They can load at least 1.6 times i.e. 16 tons in 20 foot. So in all
probabilities, the economics are cheaper for 40 feet. So there is a great demand and
do so as long as lines are able to supply 40 feet containers for RCN.
Your views on the WCCE event
It is good to be here and nice to see the people over here at one place and chat. I
am quite happy. This platform gives an opportunity to meet lots of people at one
place and interact with them on many things. I wish WCC a grand success.
Mr Sanjeev Sathyapal Chhabra, Trimurti Engineering Works, India
This is a transcript of the exclusive interview of Mr Sanjeev Sathyapal Chhabra,
Trimurti Engineering Works, India taken on the occasion of World Cashew
Convention & Exhibition 2018
Tell us about your company
Our company is into manufacturing of machineries, based in Mumbai, which can
extract oils; basically after extracting of the cashews, the shell which is waste are
used for extracting of oil which is an additional income. Our machineries are used
by majority of the cashew shell people in Mangalore, Goa, and Odisha. The oil thus
extracted from the machines is being used in automobile, paint and wood
industries. I am in the third generation in to this business, earlier we were in the
name of Alpine Engineering Works which we have diversified into other company
named as Trimurti Engineering Works.
What is the market potential for the oil which is extracted from the cashews?
The oil has a huge demand and the average requirement is 60,000 mts wherein the
production is very less. There are many persons who are coming forward to protect
this plant and the shells are usually exported to US and Brazil.
Where do you procure the raw materials for extracting oil?
We will buy from the processors because only after extraction of cashews, only the
shell is used; moreover, the shells are also imported from African countries and
many of the processors have their own CNSL oil plant and machinery.
Your views about the WCCE
It’s a good platform to work in and this is the third time I am participating and
looking forward to participate in the future events also.
Mr K S Jayaram Bhat, CMD, TMPL Machines, India
This is a transcript of the exclusive interview of Mr K S Jayaram Bhat, CMD, TMPL
Machines, India taken on the occasion of World Cashew Convention & Exhibition
Brief about your company TMPL Machines
TMPL Machines is an equipment manufacturer; we started with manufacturing
equipments for electronic and automotive industries since 1984. From 2013, we
have been manufacturing for food industries also. Our latest equipments are the
pasteurization equipments using infra-red and ultra-violet and also in-line
inspection conveyors, metal detectors etc.
One of the most common problems faced by the buyers after the introduction
of food safety is with regards to live infestation; how to eliminate the same
without the usage of chemicals?
For that reason only we are supplying conveyorized infra-red equipment where in
the cashews are treated with infra-red light, it is the suns energy generated
artificially and when it is highly concentrated, the infestation dies in less than 2
minutes. After treating with infra-red, we have to cool the cashews, by passing
through the cooling unit. Once again we have conveyorized in-line equipment,
which also has ultra-violet light when it is exposed to ultra-violet light as in the
case of water filter; as ultra-violet light is generated and the water is exposed to the
final stage. So the bacteria’s like salmonella, listeria, e-coli etc as all will be dead.
We are getting more than 4, 5 or 6 log ratio depending on the reduction/settings.
How are you going to address some of the other problems faced by the buyers
such as presence of foreign matters like hair, glass pieces and other dusts?
For that purpose, in the berth itself we have inspection conveyor with metal
detector. After metal detector you can employ in-line and can have hair and dust
remover using the cyclone generator and vacuum and thereafter you can feed it to
the hopper and then to the packing line.
What is new in cashew processing technology?
In the pre-packing line, we have already given a new technology, a modular
technology where you can add or delete depending on the advancement in the
technology. We also want to percolate down the line and use infra-red technology
for walnuts drying. Also, we want to develop equipment for replacing the borma for
testa peeling (as we know that quick heating does not leads to loss of nutrients)
and you can do it faster, we want to incorporate this new technology in the cashew
industry. In the pre-packing line, we have to go down the line and do it in each
stage, by replacing the borma, all the sun drying which is done in the yards and
want to reduce the time, which eventually led to less infestation, less bacteria and
Considering higher cost of machineries is there enough financing available for
installing new cashew processing plant with modern technologies?
The basic purpose of indigenization which has undertaken in India was to reduce
the cost of the equipment. Our equipments are a fraction of the cost and with
better technology then what we would get it from the West or USA. The technology
is more modern, it can be further upgraded and operating costs are also very low
with our equipment compared to chemical fumigation, borma etc.
What more needs to be done for the manufacturing industries?
We need more support for all the industries; with suppliers, customer’s symbiosis
we were able to develop this line with pre-packing section. I feel lots more need to
be done, percolate down the line by giving the same kind of support for developing
new conveyorized equipment. The change is required, anything that is dynamic and
not static will keeps things moving and that is what needs to be done, for that we
need support of the processing industries as well as their customers. So that we
can incorporate latest technologies, as we are using sun’s energy artificially as this
is more traditional way of doing.
What is the basic difference between Vietnam and Indians processors?
Vietnamese processors competitions are much better rate than India; in what
way Vietnam fared better than us?
In Vietnam, the basic operations for cutting, they are having a lot of automation
which was incorporated many years back but still Indian’s are talking about
traditional; however lot of processors are changing with that kind of latest
technologies available for various operations but this has to be done at a much
faster pace so as to compete with Vietnam.
Mr Mohamodou Sylla, CASA-Cote d’Ivoire
This is a transcript of the exclusive interview of Mr Mohamodou Sylla, CASA-Cote
d’Ivoire taken on the occasion of World Cashew Convention & Exhibition 2018
Brief about your company CASA
CASA is a cashew processing company located in Bouake, in the centre of Cote
d’Ivoire, and operating there since 2014. Our installed capacity is 5,000 tons of raw
cashews, which we purchase locally.
What is the current processing capacity?
Our processing capacity is about 5000 tons and we are planning to increase the
same to about 7500 tons in the next couple of years.
Mention your kernel export markets?
CASA mainly exports kernels to the USA, the EU – mainly to Netherlands, and
mostly in the plain form.
Which are the food safety certifications do you posses?
Considering the food safety, we have already certification from ACA, also gone
through the audit to be certified for IPL and Wal-Mart. Hence, we can export
directly to Wal-Mart and we are in the process of getting BRC certified soon.
Are you able to maintain traceability of the produce?
We can trace the produce from each and every individual farmer and to keep track
until the finished product, before it goes for exports.
What are your future plans?
Our aim is to increase the processing capacity of RCN initially to 7,500 tons and
then towards 10,000 tons, as we have enough space for future expansion, and
finally to venture into finished products.
Sir, your views on WCCE
I am really impressed by the number of participants present here across the entire
cashew value chain. It’s a unique opportunity/platform to meet lot of customers
and to do business with them.
Mr Deepta Gupta, Bikanervala Foods Pvt Ltd
This is a transcript of the exclusive interview of Mr Deepta Gupta, Bikanervala Foods
Pvt Ltd taken on the occasion of World Cashew Convention & Exhibition 2018
Kindly elaborate the ethnic industry and the role of cashews in Indian
The cashews ethnic industry in India is very old. In 2017, 52 percent of the total
domestic consumption is used by ethnic industry and mainly used in Namkeens,
savories, snacks and sweets. More usage of cashews in the gifting segment started
in the last five to ten years and about 10-15 percent of total cashews are used for
gifting on festival occasions; thus the cashew is an important element in the ethnic
industry in India.
What are the potential challenges likely to be faced by the Indian cashew
industry during this year?
In the last two to three years, rising in cashew prices are posing major challenges
to the industry. Profit margins are shrinking day by day with the hike in the
cashew price and we are looking for alternates. In our gift packs, we have increased
the content or composition of other nuts when compared to cashews, so as to
balance the price because the customer is very sensitive to price. In my opinion as
well as industry concern, if this trend continues, then it will have an adverse
impact on the cashew consumption. So the cashew industry collectively has to take
steps to rein the price spike, otherwise it will be great threat to the industry.
You are in the dry fruit industry, but the automation is making inroads into
the industry. Sir, your comments on the same!
Automation for any kind of industry should be viewed as important and beneficial.
But if you are doing automation from the traditional processes, then we cannot
compromise on the quality. Automation doesn’t mean in reducing the cost and
shouldn’t forget about the quality and it is happening with the cashew industry.
Today, there is a lot of difference between the traditional and automation
processing of cashews. In automation, lot of issues are there such as more husks,
bitterness, off flavors in cashews; the industry should do a lot more to improve the
automation efficiency and should concentrate more on quality aspects, otherwise
end users may have to consider buying from traditional processors.
In what way the Indian cashew industry needs to be upgraded?
Cashew industry has to work from the scratch, may have to partner with the
agricultural institutes and work on the seeds, the efficiency of the crop, GMP of the
plants, good innovative packaging system, all combined together we can give a
better quality of cashews. Consider the case of almonds in the US, the American
companies have done wonderful job in terms of almonds quality and consistency of
the product. Ten years back almonds were very expensive but now due to the
initiative of American Almonds Boards, the dry fruits markets were flourished with
many varieties of almonds. Similar way the cashew industry should work with the
seeds to get good quality of cashews, improvement in yields and to achieve
consistency in the quality.
Mr Anshul Jindal, Senior Investment Officer,
Agribusiness Asia Pacific, responsAbility Investments AG
This is a transcript of the exclusive interview of Mr Anshul Jindal, Senior Investment
Officer, Agribusiness Asia Pacific, responsAbility Investments AG taken on the
occasion of World Cashew Convention & Exhibition 2018
Brief about your company responsAbility Investments
responsAbility Investments AG is an asset manager based out of Switzerland,
manages funds worth about USD 3.3 billion globally and our funds are invested in
more than 80 countries in the world and are very well diversified. We are an
impact-investment advisor. We invest in the companies who are doing well on the
environmental and social aspects. Primarily we invest in the three sectors viz.,
financial institutions, renewable energy and agriculture. I am part of the
agriculture team, where we work with farmers, co-operative societies, processors,
traders and exporters – the entire agri value chain. The idea being that the money
should be used in the value-chain in such a manner that the smallholder farmers
are benefitted out of it. The company that we fund should be working in a
sustainable manner towards the betterment of farmers.
Within agriculture, the cashew is an important portfolio for us and in cashew we
have invested in entire agri value-chain from Africa to Asia Pacific including Europe
and the US.
Considering the overall size of responsAbility agri funding, the size of funding
for cashew seems to be small. How are going to improve on that?
It used to be small, but in the last four years it has improved from less than two
percent to more than 10 percent today. The increase has been phenomenal for
cashews. For us also, it is a really good product to be in. We are happy to be
associated with the cashew as a commodity in a large manner. We see the potential
is much more. We can sense more growth in this industry for us, in terms of
funding both the raw cashew as well as the processing part and also for the
finished product. The biggest advantage for the cashew is that the commodity is
linked globally wherein Africa and Asia Pacific work together for the entire valuechain. We see that it can grow quickly up even further and soon it might become
one of our largest commodities for funding.
Are you financing to processors for capacity creation or addition and for
Yes, we feel that, where the next wave of the requirement will be. We have all
discussed about that more processing will happen in Africa going forward. Now, the
governments in Africa have realized that. I am glad that at least few countries are
taking the right steps in that direction, although it will take another 2-3 years to
see the actual fruits on the ground. But there are investors and private companies
now who are willing to take that risk. We stand firmly behind the government and
such entrepreneurs who have knowhow of the industry and who are willing to
expand to those markets. We feel that lot of investment is required especially for
processing in Africa. We are looking to fund and as of now we can fund the long
term projects in cashews – be it for green field projects in processing, machinery
expansion by an existing processor and infrastructure for warehousing and drying.
We have done similar projects in Vietnam and we have done one or two such
projects in West Africa and we are looking to increase on that.
What are the regulatory challenges when you finance to Indian Companies?
The challenge is because that we are Switzerland based investor and all our funds
are in Euros and dollars. In India, funding in foreign currency is always a
challenge. The central bank has put a lot of restrictions on foreign currency loans
and local currency loan is preferred. For an investor like us, funding in local
currency is not an option and is little difficult. Moreover, for a non-banking entity,
because we are not regulated as bank it becomes even more difficult.
All our funds directly come out of Switzerland or Luxembourg. In India, we have no
such legal entity to fund and that brings challenges. There are few options where
we use FPI and FIIs, through which we can subscribe to non-convertible
debentures but that also becomes local currency or they are long term funding
only. We have done some financing through that route i.e. only for three years.
What we expect from the government of India is that at least for exporters some
more leverage should be given to dollar funding from non-banking entities like us.
So far what we are doing is a way of indirect financing where we fund the rate and
the funding cycle is very small and cannot fund from end to end. If regulations
improve, at least for the exporters, they should be allowed to receive money in
dollars. So far things are going slow in that side. With the recent movement in the
dollar, we don’t see situation improving at least for the next one year.
Are you planning to have any joint venture with others, so that you can
finance Indian entities?
We have been discussing with few entities for joint venture. The local NBFCs in
India may close the deal soon, but even with that our funding will be largely limited
to long term projects and not for trade finance. The long-term projects are in need
for cashew industry in India and many factories are in need for improvement, need
to invest in modern technology. We have being talking to large machinery suppliers
in India and Vietnam so that we can fund for their clients whenever the new
machines are supplied and that part will be ready in a few months.
Are you financing to farmers in terms of replacing the old and senile
plantations and what are the criteria for them and is there any collateral is
It is difficult for us to fund individual farmers directly, because we need a scale and
size when we fund a project. How we do is that we fund to farmers co-operatives in
countries and geographies wherein the co-operatives work very well. It should be of
larger size and the member farmers should view the cooperatives with seriousness,
they should associate with the cooperatives for a longer duration. If co-operative
won’t work then we will fund to local entrepreneurs who are in the end work with
the farmers. We have issued money for plantation for commodities other than
cashews because the collateral becomes a challenge in that case. Collateral over
the plant is not always possible. It is not realizable because of long duration. For
such cases, we have another product which is called as technical assistance,
basically it is a social product where we will give money to the farmers or a
entrepreneur for a particular project, for a particular purpose and it is like a grant
money and we won’t fund it 100 percent as we want some money to come from the
local co-operative or entrepreneur but we can fund up to 50 percent in that case
with certain clear guidelines how the fund should be use and monthly benchmarks
with deadlines etc. There is a budget with us for a technical assistance; the idea is
to grow the community, to grow the commodity, so the farmers are benefitted in a
sustainable manner and it’s a good for long term sustainability of the commodity.
Ms Suchithra Balasubramanian, CEO, nanoPix
This is a transcript of the exclusive interview of Ms Suchithra Balasubramanian,
CEO, nanoPix taken on the occasion of World Cashew Convention & Exhibition 2018
Brief about nanoPix
nanoPix is an image processing product development company and we have been
working very closely with the cashew industry; in fact one of our pioneer products
for the cashew industry is for grading cashews based on size, characters and
surface finish. We have able to contribute about 350 plus units of our products to
the industry for grading.
Brief about the ImageIn technology
It is based on image processing. It is like putting eyes to your machines for seeing
things and analyzing it. ImageIn technology correlates multiple camera vision and
inferences based on the data extracts. We have been able to apply patented
ImageIn technology and using extensively in all our products and it is the
uniqueness of our machines.
In what way Mayur is different from Hamsa and Shuka and also differentiate
them based on the small, medium and large scale processing units?
All of our products so far have been for grading and being used for ImageIn
technology. Hamsa and Shuka has been very successful product in the market, but
we have come up with an advanced technology product which is called Mayur
which uses ImageIn technology. Hamsa and Shuka has two cameras i.e. one in the
bottom and other one at the top in order to see the cashews from both the sides,
but Mayur has advantages with 12 cameras for seeing the cashews i.e. six in the
top and six in the bottom. Mayur has a camera which has been developed in-house
using advanced technology of image processing and has got advanced electronics to
give accuracy and much needed speed for analyzing the cashews and which gives
you an accuracy of about 98 percent.
Mention about nanoSorter SuVarna, the almond grading machine?
nanoSorter SuVarna is recently launched product based on ImageIn technology for
grading almonds based on colors and also it can identify bin touch, serious defects
and foreign objects. It can also give you five grades – two grades for splits, two for
broken and any other reject materials. It also gives three colors for bin touch,
serious effects and foreign materials.
How is the response for your grading machineries in Vietnam?
We have already given 14 machines for Vietnam, especially with Olam and have
good collaboration with them and having exploring options with other cashew
processors. In April this year, we are visiting with our exclusive team to Vietnam for
selling the machines and we also have got positive inputs for our machines from
other processors. During VINACAS meeting 2017, one of the cashew processor said
that it’s time we are looking behind for sorting and look for grading, which shows
lot of opportunities for us to explore over there.
Any future plans for expanding your foot print in African countries?
We have already installed six of our machines in Cote D’Ivoire, one in Tanzania, in
the process of finalizing few deals in Mozambique and we also have got a lot of
enquiries from other parts of Africa. We are looking keen in expanding our foot
print in African countries as lot of cashew processing is going to happen in Africa in
the coming years.
What are the future prospects for nanoPix?
nanoPix is going to look beyond the mechanization and automation. It is going to
embrace artificial intelligence and we have gone one-step ahead in artificial
intelligence using image processing. We will also look in to other data intelligence
and machine learning that will be the future for nanoPix in the coming
Your views about WCCE
I am very much excited with WCC, especially the team which organizes this event is
quiet professional and can meet elite group of the cashew industry peoples. The
knowledge which we get from this conference is amazing and I am looking forward
to get more knowledge about the cashew industry.
Mr Urmil Raval, Director, Dryfruit Factory LLP
This is a transcript of the exclusive interview of Mr Urmil Raval, Director, Dryfruit
Factory LLP taken on the occasion of World Cashew Convention & Exhibition 2018
Brief about the cashew processing in non-traditional areas of Gujarat?
Gujarat is an industrial hub and has developed massive infrastructure for initiating
any business. It has wide networks of ports, domestic and international airports,
extensive rail and road network, power supply. But for cashew industries in
Gujarat is still non-traditional area and we are facing so many challenges in terms
of processing raw cashew nuts.
Availability of skilled labour is the biggest problem, to cope with that we have come
up with the best technologies and mechanisation. It will help us to reduce the
production cost and to maintain best hygiene standards and also we are following
good manufacturing practices for processing cashews.
The state is one of the largest consumers of cashew kernels and has been emerging
as a raw cashew nut processing hub. Due to its proximity to North Indian markets,
we can easily understand the demand/behavior of those markets. Due to
mechanization, the percentage of brokens is more; however, the demand is good for
brokens in that part of the country.
Gujarat processing capacity is about 30,000 tons per year and our focus for next
three years is to reach about 2, 00,000 tons per year. For cultivation, we conduct a
programme in Dang district and it has the cultivation capacity of about 10,000
Everybody is following global standards of food safety such as FSMA, CEPCI etc.,
but not following FSSAI.
We are focusing on the domestic markets, quality and hygiene and safety standards
and to show that how different Gujarat is from other parts of India.
What are the overall experiences in cashew industry?
We are basically from the health care background. Due to my own personal interest
and Guajarati’s being fond of food and considering my background, I want to foray
into food industry – Cashew. Now we are passing through the tough time as raw
material prices are moving high day by day, but as we are selling it to the domestic
market, not affected much and we believe in quality and getting good price in the
market.Due to my earlier background, have full understanding of GMP,
maintaining food safety standards, quality and hygiene issues currently faced by
the industry. Overall the experience in the cashew business is good.
Your views about WCCE
WCCE is very good platform. I am attending the event for the past three years. It is
a global platform to meet the people across the globe in one place. WCC is also
focusing on areas where processing capacity is less so to say in non-traditional
areas. I am thankful to WCC team/organizers for taking up this initiative for the
betterment of the cashew industry.
Mr David Barbera, Napasol AG
This is a transcript of the exclusive interview of Mr David Barbera, Napasol AG taken
on the occasion of World Cashew Convention & Exhibition 2018
Brief about Napasol AG
Napasol AG is 10 years old, founded by Mr Dieter Kündig, CEO and Manager of the
Buhler group, which is one of the main equipment companies in the world, together
with Dr. Cameon Ivarsson. Today, the Napasol AG is the leading supplier of
pasteurization and sterilization equipment for the treatment of low moisture foods
such as nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, botanicals, and dried fruit. We are very proud
today to be part of WCCE convention and had the opportunity to introduce our
technology to the cashew processors. As we have the gentlest way of processing and
pasteurizing the cashews, we feel that our technology will find place in cashew
industry, as we already have enough preference of our product across the world.
Explain about the natural pasteurization process
I will brief about pasteurization, natural pasteurization and how our technology fits
totally into it. One of our largest pasteurization units in California, Poindexter nuts,
the main processor of walnuts, pasteurizes about six tons per hour. Our process is
fully organic which has high value in the industry especially for the processors who
wants to go for fully organic products. We want to differentiate ourselves from the
others technologies in the markets, whether they use steam, fire, heat, whatever
source of heat, chemicals or oxidants. Napasol is fully organic, we don’t use steam
and we use saturated steam in such way that the steam has very efficient way of
distributing heat and it has a very high capacity of latent heat. So by condensing of
the product, it gives about 5, 6 or 7 log scale without deteriorating or damaging the
product. In case of cashews, no colour change, no moisture picks up, or no splits,
the product doesn’t move; it sits in the bins throughout the process flow.
Also explain about the thermal pasteurization
Thermal pasteurization is done in partial vacuum with lowering temperature; most
of the systems that you see around use ambient pressure, so the steam is wet and
you have one bar pressure because the steam is wet which resulted in increase of
the moisture and it needs a drying process afterwards but in our system this is not
the case. We use saturated steam for a very short period of time at very low
temperature which gives without increasing the moisture or any change in the
Your views on WCCE
I like it very much where people interacts each other, networking, easy talking,
chats with one other by sharing information and this is the first time but definitely
will not be the last time and had a great time with great peoples.
Ms Amanda Wright,Purchasing Director, Humdinger Foods, UK
This is a transcript of the exclusive interview of Ms Amanda Wright, Purchasing
Director, Humdinger Foods, UK taken on the occasion of World Cashew Convention &
Cashew kernel price consumption is higher in UK and Europe despite higher
prices and moreover not having parity when compared with other competing
nuts. Could elaborate the reason behind that?
Cashew is still seen as a premium nut as compared to other premium nuts, offering
value for money. Cashew is perceived as healthy snack as well, being consumed in
raw as well as in processed form, children’s carrying cashews to school as snacks,
and lot of other benefits. We have seen a lot of healthy snack packets with are
bigger in size and the growth is good.
How Brexit will change the cashew market dynamics in the European Union?
It is yet to be ascertained. The challenges is with respect to changes in import
legislation, what are the documentations needed, until unless those things are
clarified, we may see higher level of imports and also one need to see how the USD
behaves with respect to pound.
In what forms, cashew is consumed in UK?
The main grade that we are buying is W320 and cashew splits. W320 is used in
flavored, salted, roasted products. Historically the consumption of W240 is higher
in UK but to offset higher price, we have shifted to W320. Because retailers don’t
want to pass higher cost to consumers, so they shifted to next lower grade, to keep
Could please explain about SEDEX standard?
It is very important for the UK cashew industry. The demand for traceable and
sustainable food supply chains is growing. Sustainable supply chain improvements
can be achieved when parties collaborate. It is to make sure that the industry is
practicing ethical trading standards through sustainable sourcing of the product.
The ability to know the growers and farmers in our supply chain would give us the
ability to work with them, through setting codes of conduct and installing
confidential grievance reporting procedures. The goal is to create products that an
ethically conscious consumer can have faith in. So factories should work to become
Are you sourcing kernels from African countries?
Not yet, we are in the process of sourcing kernels from Africa and would like to do
so in the next 12 to 18 months.
What are the contractual terms and compliance in the UK markets?
In the UK, we buy goods of AFI standards. The problem that we find is that in the
last 12-18 months is that, everybody is shipping the produce at lower end of the
quality; despite we are following AFI standards. The other issue is about payment
terms, we need to work together to sort out the payment terms which would satisfy
all those concerned.
Your message for the kernel producing countries in terms of quality and food
safety and what should they maintain
We want to make sure of maintaining good quality of the products which are
shipped out and it should be within the contract specifications, single seed origin,
white and crispy and softness of cashew, and then everybody is willing to pay
premium for the good quality.
Your views on the WCCE
It is a very good platform and I am attending for the third time. Here we discussed
about the trends and market dynamics, quality issues and food safety. Also it is a
good platform to meet and contact people across the global cashew fraternity and
have developed good relationships with the participants over the years.
Mr. Vu Thai Son, Long Son JSC, Vietnam
This is a transcript of the exclusive interview of Mr. Vu Thai Son, Long Son JSC,
Vietnam taken on the occasion of World Cashew Convention & Exhibition 2018
Could you please brief about the challenges faced by Vietnamese buyers in procuring
raw cashew nuts?
This year we are facing problem as the RCN price is at a record high and the kernel buyer is
not keen to committing big volumes. Secondly, banks in Vietnam are not willing to finance
cashew processing companies to buy RCN at this very high price.
Considering that 3/4th of the RCN is being imported to Vietnam are from other
countries, how do you ensure the traceability of the product?
As of now, in Vietnam the traceability system is done until the country. We can’t do until
the province of each country. In Vietnam, we separate lots according to different countries
of origin. From the kernel produced from each lot, we can easily obtain the traceability of
In 2018, Vinacas is planning to reduce the Vietnam kernel exports to 300,000 tons
from about 355,000 tons exported in 2017. Could you please elaborate on the same?
2017 is not a very good year for Vietnam as processors paid very high price for RCN and
they also faced lot of quality issues. VINACAS is planning to reduce kernel exports in order
to concentrate on quality of the produce.
How do you tackle the quality problems and what are the expectations of the kernel
To tackle the problem of quality issues, we have to reduce the imports of raw material and
to buy RCN from more reliable sellers. From the kernel side, Vietnam has no problem in
dealing with the buyers, although the parity is not very good.
Is processing viable considering the cost of RCN?
Up to 2016, although the RCN price was higher and the kernel price was also getting higher
due to demand ,we did not have a problem. In 2017, first the RCN price was high and the
kernel price was also high. But later kernel price dropped and thus created problem. Some
factories started to lose money.
Are processors able to get access to finance considering the higher cost of working
It’s not easy because Vietnam don’t have that much money to help the cashew
industry.Moreover, due to high price for broken, some banks feel very risky to finance. This
year banks will not finance much to cashew industry.
Mr Pankaj N. Sampat, Managing Director,
Samsons Traders LLC, India
This is a transcript of the exclusive interview of Mr Pankaj N. Sampat,
Managing Director, Samsons Traders LLC, India taken on the occasion of World
Cashew Convention & Exhibition 2018
What are the general requirements/expectations of kernel buyers?
Now couples of things that are very important for the cashew buyers in USA or
other developed markets. First, Food safety is becoming very important; the
consumers are becoming more and more aware of what constituents healthy food;
secondly reliability of supply, because the buyers from importing countries, when
they buy the kernels as have their commitment to feed the retail stores; so timely
delivery as per schedule are very important and the third aspect is consistency in
terms of quality.
The Government of India has introduced ‘One Nation-One Tax’ GST, how it
has changed the dynamics of the Indian cashew industry. Have you seen any
big consolidation happening?
Traditionally, the large portion of the cashew; in general any food commodity
business in India was in the unorganized sector, not reported and there was
distortion in the supply chain because people who are not taking things on to
books, they will able to compete with the others; now with one nation – one tax, the
anomaly will be taken out and this should be a very healthy development for the
cashew industry in the long term.
The government has restored the MEIS incentives for the exporters and also
reduced the RCN import duty by about 2.5 percent, whether it has positive
impact on cashew export demand going forward?
It will, but import duty even at 2.5 percent will not make any sense and it should
be abolished totally. The issue is not about 2.5 percent but the issue is about the
procedures, formalities; an exporter if he is not paying 2.5 percent duty, he has to
go for AA (advanced authorization) procedures, which is time consuming and if we
look at it out of the total import of RCN, more than 50 percent is from LDC’s, where
there is no duty. So levying duty only on 50 percent of imports, the amount which
government collects from 2.5 percent is very small and doesn’t make sense and it
should be abolished totally.
The demand for the food ingredients is going up continuously not only in
India but also in Vietnam and other Western countries. Are you able to meet
the food ingredients demand for quality in terms of grade wise because they
mostly needed splits and pieces?
The cashew is the only nut where broken are cheaper than the wholes, in all other
nuts like Almonds, Brazil nuts, the broken are higher, because there is a process
involved in making the broken but in cashews, the splits and pieces are the only a
by-products, so it is cheaper. Now the use of cashew as ingredient is increasing
and I would not surprise five years down the line, the splits are likely to be higher
than the price of wholes, because of the increase in demand.
What will be the average price for this season?
It is very difficult to predict, as every year in the cashew industry is New Year. I am
in industry for about 40 years but looking at various factors such as supply is
consistent and demand is growing. So although people expect that there will be
decline in the price, but I feel the decline will not be too much and I would expect
range bound in cashew kernel price basis W320 in the region of USD 4.5 to 5 for
2018. Prices are likely to be somewhat stable, so everybody in the chain will be able
to make decent profit and the growth of the industry and the investment required
in various stages will happen.
The growth momentum is W240 in on the upswing. What is the reason behind
The W320 and W240 price differentials narrowed. i.e., we are seeing a shift from
W320 to W240. Based on the demand and supply fluctuations will happen and also
based on the prices shift may change accordingly.
Your views on WCCE, 2018
WCCE has been growing from strength to strength and if you compare from first to
fourth edition, we are seeing more involvement and we now to see more
involvement from the cashew consuming countries; hats off to Mr Srivatsava and
team, cashewinfo.com is doing a fantastic job to the betterment of cashew industry
and I hope you will continue to do the same.
Dr. Shobana Shanmugam, Sr. Scientist –Foods Research,
Madras Diabetic Research Foundation (MDRF), India
This is a transcript of the exclusive interview of Dr. Shobana Shanmugam,
Sr. Scientist –Foods Research, Madras Diabetic Research Foundation (MDRF), India
taken on the occasion of World Cashew Convention & Exhibition 2018
Brief about Madras Diabetic Research Foundation (MDRF)
Madras Diabetic Research Foundation is headed by Dr. V. Mohan, Chairman and
Professor who has dedicated his life towards diabetes research and his contribution
is not only in the clinical aspects but also he gives a lot of emphasis on food and
nutrition research because both the clinical research as well as food and nutrition
research can aid in prevention as well as management of diabetes and its
Mention the health benefits of consuming cashews?
Cashews along with its deliciousness, packed up with lot of health benefits and
handful of cashews can offer a good quality nutrients such as protein. 5 grams of
fiber can be obtained from handful of cashews and it can cover around 10 to 12
percent of daily recommended dietary allowance of iron and zinc, 30 percent of the
RDA of copper and magnesium. Apart from this, it has good fat, out of 50 percent
fat it contains almost 60 percent is of mono unsaturated fatty acids, which is good
in terms of protecting our heart and health.
There is a misconception in India and across the world that the nut consumption is
supposed to aid in weight increase, but we have conducted the study by Madras
Diabetic Research Foundation in type-2 diabetes patient, we have found that
consuming cashew nuts for a periods of three months with a level of 30 grams of
cashew nuts in the daily diets did not increase the body weight and waist
circumference. In addition to this, some of the important things to share are: we
observed decrease in blood pressure and increased in energy derived mono
unsaturated fatty acids because our Indians diets are generally deficient in mono
unsaturated fatty acids and loaded with PUFA (n=6) and we consume lot of refined
grains which renders more susceptible to diabetes. Generally, good quality low
glycemic index whole grains and mono unsaturated fatty acids are recommended
and cashew nuts can be the very good source of the mono unsaturated fatty acids.
From the trial, we also found that it can cause substantial increase in energy
derived from the MUFA because the oleic acid is pre-dominant mono unsaturated
fatty acids from the cashews and found that the increase in the energy derive from
the MUFA component of cashews from the study.
We also found that this increases the good cholesterol because HDL (High-density
lipoproteins) cholesterol is known as good cholesterol which is cardio-protector as
we Asian Indians have naturally low level of HDLs and it’s very hard to get an
increase in the HDL cholesterol. Through dietary means and cashew nuts can be
the very good source of the ingredient, which can increase the HDL cholesterol.
As you have explained the study of consuming cashews by diabetic which was
funded by CEPCI. Could you elaborate the study?
The clinical research trial was conducted by Madras Diabetic Research Foundation,
Chennai and I am happy to tell that the research findings have been published in
Journal of Nutrition, which is available online and it is the recent research from
India and one of its unique kind which has covered almost 150 subjects and total
of 300 participants were recommended for the study, who were type-2 diabetic
patients. We had 150 in cashew arm and 150 in the control arm who consume no
nuts throughout the study. While the cashew nut arm, consumed 30 grams of nuts
for the duration of three months as we found no gain in body weight, waist
circumference, an increase in HDL cholesterol, a decrease in the systolic blood
pressure and also observed that substantial increase in the energy derive from the
MUFA and also did not find any adverse changes in the glycemic parameters of the
study participants. This was the interesting findings which can support
recommending nuts to diabetic patient’s and also for normal people to incorporate
cashew nuts in their daily diet.
The important point to notice is that should not increase the portion size, we can
knock out 200 kilo calories of energy derived from the carbohydrates and
incorporate nuts in the place of carbohydrates which is very good replacement of
What are the future plans for cashew research?
This was the study on type-2 diabetic’s subjects but I feel that a lot of research
required for the population who are at the risk. We Asian-Indians are more prone to
diabetics and cardio-vascular disease because we are genetically rendered with
more features which are susceptible to diabetics and effect of supplementation of
cashews nuts can be conducted on the people whom are at risk to evaluate the
preventive role of cashews nuts in diabetes and cardio-vascular complications. So
that would be the welcome research in the cashew nut aspects and also we should
explore more on the carbohydrate-cashew matrix because Indians diets are rich in
carbohydrates and high in glycemic load and tend to increase in type-2 diabetes
and cardio-vascular problems. We are getting a lot of recommendations even from
the American Diabetic Association to replace some of the carbohydrates with nuts
effectively. So nuts will be one of the ingredients that can reduce the glycemic load
and lot of research are required to incorporate the nuts in the cereals and this kind
of study is welcomed and also more value-added products from the cashews nuts
should be developed and health professionals should work together with food
technologist to evolve more food products such as savory crackers, pasta products
etc., and also both should work together to bring more evidence products from
cashews and try to increase more consumption of nuts in our daily diets.
Your views about WCCE
It was a very good with well-planned convention and lot of expertise have taken
part by exchanging views from each of us which has given a new dimension on
cashews and also should try to disseminate the health benefits of cashews and
induce more people to work on cashews and incorporate cashews in the daily life.
Mr Pratap Nair, Board Member, Ambassador- International Nut
and Dried Fruit Council
This is a transcript of the exclusive interview of Mr Pratap Nair, Board Member,
Ambassador- International Nut and Dried Fruit Council taken on the occasion of
World Cashew Convention & Exhibition 2018
For the first time in India, INC congress was held in Chennai- 2017, so how
was the response?
It was extremely good, there were around 900 participants; the whole of the cashew
industry, almond, pistachios and all other nuts and dry fruits people were there. It
was very nice and 80 countries represented.
Brief about the INC Global Cashew Council and its activities
Global Cashew Council was formed under INC umbrella mainly to promote health
research specifically on cashews. Until now, cashew specific health research has
not been done, but it has done only on almonds, walnuts. For the first time, INC
has commissioned the study on cashew consumption is good for heart health and
the study has been completed and it is positive and very soon it will come out in
medical journals worldwide and soon it will publish that consuming cashew is good
for heart. This is one of the great achievements of INC which helps cashew
How was the demand of cashew in India after the introduction of GST since
The demand for cashew in India is growing exponentially, but there was a small
road block with the GST and demonetization. It has affected the cash flow and the
consumption was reduced a bit for the last few months but again it is picking up
and India continues to be the largest consumer of cashews in the world
What are the main challenges faced by the Indian cashew industry?
The major challenge facing is import duty which has been from 9.5 percent to 5
percent and now it has been reduced to 2.5 percent which is not enough. We are
expecting that it should go down to zero percent and the only way we can beat
Vietnam. So I request the government of India to reduce the duty from 2.5 to zero
Recently the government of India has hiked the export incentives on MEIS
and today the RCN import duty is halved. Whether it will help the Indian
industry to regain the past export glory going forward?
The MEIS has been restored to 5 percent which will boost the exports and to
compete with Vietnam, but now the import duty which is 2.5 percent is not enough
and should be zero percent.
Your views about WCCE
WCCE was very nice, a great platform to meet old and new friends and have had
great time in this beautiful city.
What are your expectations for the next convention?
Cashewinfo is already doing a great job, may be you can attempt in bringing more
young entrepreneurs in the cashew business, create a separate panel for them to
speak more on cashews which would encourage the industry to achieve more.