East Bali Cashews (EBC) is located in the heart of Bali’s cashew region. EBC process top-quality cashew nuts in the same small village where they are grown and sell them in Indonesia and abroad. EBC's business model is grounded in social and environmental sustainability and works to improve the lives of our cashew growing communities.
IPMI International Business School
Amelia Naim Indrajaya
Integrated within its factory operations, EBC also operates social and environmental programs for:
• Farmer improvement – assisting farmers in improving cashew production by providing training and establishing a network of cashew nut drying centers, and assisting farmers in diversifying their incomes through rosella farming, bee-keeping, and other activities;
• Green energy and no wastewater – using a cashew shell-powered furnace to provide eco-energy for the factory’s drying oven and steaming machines, and an on-site water filtration system to repurpose wastewater for gardening; and
• Early-childhood education – operating AnaKardia, a daycare, and preschool program focused on improving the educational and health outcomes of employees’ children.
Establishing eco friendly cashews processing facilities that made an impact in the community and the society
Aaron Fishman is the ultimate explorer. He traveled the world in search of new and exciting experiences; he taught French cooking techniques in Japan; he learned the art of stewed black beans from an Oaxacan grandmother. Aaron found his truth through food.
In 2012, Aaron traveled to rural East Bali as a healthcare volunteer. He was astonished by the breathtaking beauty of the region. The volcanoes, dense jungle, and rugged hillsides are home to a rich, complex culture and a vibrant community. Yet Aaron discovered that behind the beauty, East Bali is an impoverished region of cashew farmers. Farmers sold raw cashews to traders who shipped them overseas for processing. The entrepreneur in Aaron saw an opportunity for a powerful social venture that would bring livelihood and educational opportunities to the region.
At the core of his idea was a business that created jobs and improved the quality of life for the community. He envisioned a globally responsible company that made honest food through genuine, transparent, and sustainable business practices. From the humble village of Desa Ban, East Bali Cashews was born.
"What we're trying to do is to create a prototype that can be replicated throughout Eastern Indonesia. We want to build processing centers everywhere there are cashews being grown, using this technology and system."
Aaron Fishman, East Bali Cashews co-founder
1. Employment, Professional Development & Culture: In such a barren & dispersed community where jobs are scarce, these jobs go beyond providing a basis for a living – they create a sense of community and belongingness that they all can call home. Combined with their culture focusing on the wellbeing and professional development of their team, they created long-lasting solutions to pertinent social challenges.
2. AnaKardia Kids Pre-School: Early on in 2012 they built a pre-school at the factory that was named after two of our most precious resources – cashews and future generations. Combining education and nutrition, the preschool was the first in the region and serves employees’ children, as well as children from neighboring areas to gain a headstart in life.
3. Eco-Friendly Energy : Delicious cashews do in fact just grow on trees, but they require some work to get to the final product. The innovative, carbon-neutral technology and practices allow them to bring us the best cashews with minimal waste.
4. East Bali Immersion www.eastbaliimmersion.org: To truly understand us and our work, some quality time with the people and places that make us who we are is in order. East Bali Immersion offers Balinese hospitality and service-learning adventures to international school groups and other intrepid explorers around the cashew region we call home.
5. Farmer Extension Programs : EBC’s farmer extension programs tackle the changing local agricultural seasons, offer supplemental income to farming families, teach sustainable practices, and streamline the regions’ cashew production process.
6. The Cashew Family Foundation : As a means to channel the income generated from our East Bali Immersion project as well as other outside donations into deepening our impact in the community, we’ve created The Cashew Family Foundation (Yayasan Keluarga Mente) to spearhead these efforts.
Because the business established the eco-friendly cashew processing facilities and made an impact on the farmers' communities and their society, these good things have happened:
Nov. 10, 2013: In Bali, An Entrepreneur Builds An Eco-Friendly Workers' Paradise
2. BBC Nov. 3, 2014: Bali cashew factory changes villagers' fortunes East Bali Cashews is on track to exceed $1m (£625,000) in revenues this year and is aiming to double that in 2015.
With KKR assistance, East Bali Cashews drew up a business plan that allowed it to attract bigger investors with even loftier ambitions than its original owners had envisioned. The KKR-vetted strategy helped the company raise more than $2M.
3. JAKARTA GLOBE, April 5, 2016: The success of East Bali Cashews and their winning of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence for a small or medium enterprise.
4. THE GUARDIAN, January 3, 2017: Cashew farm brings people and profits back to rural Bali
5. ECO-Business August 20, 2018: These 3 social enterprises are championing sustainable agriculture in Southeast Asia and one of the social enterprises is East Bali Cashews. An increased focus on sustainability and social innovation is transforming the food and beverage industry in Southeast Asia.
6. INSIDE ASIA PODCAST March 29, 2019: An Interview with Aaron Fishman
Cashew shells are an important part of EBC's business. The circular journey of the cashew shells starts at the factory. To power the steaming and drying process of the cashews, they use an innovative gasifier furnace that runs on leftover cashew shells. They then use the resulting biochar as a super carbon-rich fertilizer for our cashew trees and rosella plantations.
The excess cashew shells will pass on to other small businesses, such as commercial laundries, which use the shells to heat their boilers. While the shells may seem like a simple byproduct with little value compared to the cashews themselves, they’re actually integral to the operations and need to be managed with care.
In 2016, EBC started to take the “use the whole cashew” idea to the next level. They have ambitious plans to replant Bali’s – and eventually Indonesia’s – cashew trees within the next decade. Part of this plan involves buying old cashew trees from farmers to make space for the new seedlings. They are using the wood chips from these trees to fire our furnaces as well, leaving no part of the cashew – or its tree – unused.
Aresty Amelia Andini, Ms.
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Kesiman Petilan, Bali, ID
Business Website: www.eastbalicashews.com
Year Founded: 2012
Number of Employees: 501 to 1000
Bali’s cashew-growing communities are some of the poorest in Indonesia, with deficient soil quality and a lack of employment opportunities. As a result, 80 percent of Bali’s raw cashew nuts are shipped overseas for processing. Social enterprise East Bali Cashews (EBC) was founded in 2012 to establish cashew processing facilities close to farmers and purchase and process locally produced cashews for sale – either as raw nuts or as value-added products such as flavored cashews and granola. EBC specifically targets women from farmer households as employees in its processing facility. It also provides daycare and preschool facilities at the factory for the children of staff members.
While tourism is the primary source of revenue for the Balinese economy, the island’s northern and eastern regions are predominantly agricultural. Smallholder farming households are dispersed over a large area and isolated from each other and commercial activity. EBC seeks to increase incomes in these communities by providing employment opportunities for local women. Its focus on rural farming communities with average incomes below USD 100 per month makes EBC an inclusive business.