Unlocking Value in Ghana’s Cashew Apples

Author: Peter West
13th February 2017


Many of us have nibbled on cashew nuts at the occasional gathering. What most people don’t know is that the nut is actually the seed of an apple, the cashew apple. Another unknown fact is that the cashew apple can actually be used to produce a nutty and nutritious juice, very common in Brazil. Cashew juice contains five times the vitamin C found in orange juice.


The broadly accepted procedure for harvesting the cashew apple, not only in Ghana but also across the rest of West Africa, is to pick the nut and throw the apple away or use it for animal feed. These producers tend to be from the poorer rural communities with little to no access to international markets and best practices.


Maia Global has been working closely with the Managing Director of Pinora in Ghana (a Brazilian national), two major Brazilian companies (a juice distributor and a cashew nut producer), and with the local farmers. The aim of the project was to optimise their supply chain, reduce waste and improve their access to markets.

It was identified that there was an opportunity to work closely with the farmers to start extracting value from the cashew apple. The cashew apple has a short life once the nut is removed. The producer has just about 6 hours ahead of him to get the apple to the processing plant before it starts to spoil.

Maia Global suggested the possibility of establishing a mobile factory close to the main growing regions, which are also very close to the Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. The proximity of the factory enabled quick processing of the apple into juice directly from the farms and also provided access to a supply of cashew apples from neighbouring countries.

Once the mobile factory was established, Maia Global then worked closely with Pinora and the farmers to develop an efficient supply chain from farm to processing plant. This included education programs, handling procedures, packaging and transport. It also included a strong supply chain to feed the fruit from the farms into this production unit.


The program has been able to achieve a juice yield of > 80%, meaning that for every 100kg of apple that is received Pinora is able to produce 85kg of juice (equivalent to 85 litres). The product was sold to Brazil and there are now efforts to start educating local consumers on the nutritional benefits of this juice. This program has not only reduced waste substantially, it has also created direct and indirect jobs, as well as an additional revenue stream for the farmers.

Not a bad outcome considering this apple was previously considered worthless.

Company overview

Maia Global is an integrated supply chain provider that specializes in temperature sensitive supply chains. Pinora Ltd is the largest fruit juice processing facility in West Africa. For more information, please contact the team at Maia Global on info@maia-global.com to see what we can do to help your business.