A historic agreement was signed in Budapest, Hungary, May 21st, 2011 by the main cashew producers, industry, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) in the name of promoting growth and sustainability of the cashew nut sector.
The signatories included the Vietnam Cashew Association (VINACAS), the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI), the Brazilian Association of Cashew Nut Manufacturers (SINDICAJU), the Australian Cashew Association, the African Cashew Alliance, and representatives of global companies such as Kraft Foods Inc., Olam International, Intersnack Group, Rajkumar, and Richard Franco Agency.
The agreement is aimed at promoting usage and consumption of cashews, initiating nutritional and health studies, promoting food safety, developing quality standards, and increasing awareness of the health and nutritional benefits of cashews.
- To evaluate world-wide trends in production and consumption of cashews and to promote growth with a good balance between supply and demand.
- To design and manage a common logo for cashews for use in publicity, advertising and promotions.
- To study and promote the usage and consumption of cashews using appropriate platforms throughout the world.
- To research the nutritional profile of cashews, to determine appropriate health platforms and possible health-claims and to validate these benefits with scientific research including clinical trials.
- To launch a program of activities to disseminate and publicise health messages related to cashews around the world.
- To evaluate and suggest basic industry-standards for compliance with food safety regulations and issues internationally and to work with regulatory bodies worldwide on food-safety issues related to cashews.
- To work actively with the U.S. Association of Food Industries, to adopt the AFI cashew standards as global standards, with adaptations for different origins and destinations if necessary.
- To evaluate possible synergies in the cashew value-chain and create added value to benefit producers, processors, traders, the food industry and the final consumer.
- To liaison with international institutions such as the FAO, WTO, WHO, EU, CFC, etc. and also other governmental and non-governmental bodies to gather necessary support for the above activities.
a) Main cashew producing countries/regions:
- Vietnam Cashew Association (VINACAS)
- Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI)
- Brazilian Association of Cashew Nut Manufacturers (SINDICAJU)
- African Cashew Alliance (ACA), as special regional member representing without exclusivity: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Gambia.
b) Other qualified players from producing countries: Sri Lanka, Burma, Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Bangladesh, China, Laos, Australia, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
c) Snack food global companies marketing cashews, such as Kraft, Olam International, Intersnack, etc.
d) In addition, possible collaboration with associations of cashew kernel marketers, roasters, handlers, processors, and importers, such as AFI-USA, CENTA-UK, JNA-Japan, Australia Cashew Association, ANIC-Australia, and NZV-Holland.
Under this agreement, a Steering Committee was established to oversee the activities of the Council for 2 years, set the strategic plan of actions and define the budget.