Danish startup upcycles cashew ‘waste’ into vegan caramel

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By Marianne Duijm, February 03, 2021

Cajsu is a Danish social impact start-up turning waste from the African cashew nut industry into delicious plant-based caramel treats.

What is a cashew fruit?

Most people are not aware that cashew nuts actually grow under a fruit. An exotic and nutritional fruit that is most often left on the fields to rot. Mainly because of the astringent flavor, cultural habits, and the fruits high perishability. More than half of all cashew nuts globally are produced by African small-hold farmers, leading to more than 16 million tons of cashew fruits are wasted in Africa alone each year.

Fighting food loss in the cashew industry

Most food waste in developing countries occurs at the farm-level. On average 40% of fruit and vegetable crops are wasted at the farm. Casju’s mission is to fights this food loss by utilizing the cashew fruit. The fruits are processed locally in the cashew growing areas. Currently, we have a production partner in Tanzania, and potential production partners in Ivory Coast and Ghana. At these production facilities, the fruits are brought from the farms and processed into a fruit-paste. This prolongs the “shelf time” of the fruits significantly.

Cashew fruit caramels

This fruit-paste is shipped to Denmark where it has a lot of uncovered potentials. Our first product is our plant-based Casju caramels with dark chocolate. We will offer consumers a product that not only tastes amazing but also reduces food waste and at the same time will create an additional source of income for the financially vulnerable small-scale farmers producing cashew nuts.

The aim of the project is to give African farmers an additional income and create local jobs by utilizing this overseen resource that is already available.

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