ITC is providing assistance to small cashew processors and brands in Senegal to expand their operations and enter new markets. They recently organized a training session on packaging for 30 cashew processing businesses in Senegal.
West Africa is the largest exporter of cashews in the world. Senegal, along with Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria, is part of this thriving industry.
Both established and new brands in Senegal are looking to transform raw cashews into higher-value products, creating innovative items for export as well as the local market. Products such as cashew jams, juices, bars, and flour are beginning to make an appearance in stores.
Given this landscape, ITC’s Alliances for Action sustainable agribusiness initiative hosted a training course on product packaging for 30 participants from 11 small businesses involved in cashew processing in Senegal. Through the Netherlands Trust Fund V program, ITC is working with cashew businesses in Senegal to help them expand sustainably, enhance their competitiveness, and reach new markets. Improved packaging is seen as a step in the right direction.
The training was led by Frederic Couty, a packaging and continuous improvement consultant at ITC. He provided guidance to the businesses on developing packaging with efficient systems that can enhance profitability and sustainability.
A step-by-step approach was used to cover the process of selecting packaging materials, graphic design, labeling, equipment, transportation packaging, and more.
In response to consumer preferences favoring environmentally friendly businesses, there was a specific focus on sustainable packaging. This will enable the brands to access European Union and other international markets, in addition to strengthening their presence in existing local and regional markets.
Couty also provided personalized coaching to eight companies from the NTFV cohort with facilities in and around Dakar, as well as in Casamance, Senegal’s largest cashew-producing region.
One company, Casadeliz, which produces cashew apple juice, participated in the Speciality & Fine Food Fair in London and is now working on a new packaging and marketing strategy tailored to the UK market, including the use of cans and tetra packs.
“To promote the ‘made in Senegal’ model, we need quality packaging because at the international level, the competition is not only on product quality but also on packaging,” said Fatou Mbod, manager of the Casamance Verte GIE.
Mireille Dovonou, a sales and marketing assistant at Lysa & Co, was particularly interested in the customized approach to packaging. “We understood that packaging must align with the company’s vision and mission. It also needs to be adapted to the customer’s needs, which can be identified through surveys and test trials before finalizing and commissioning the packaging,” she noted.
Looking ahead, ITC-Alliances for Action will continue to support the businesses as they implement the new methodology. The ITC teams will also replicate this approach for cocoa in Ghana and coffee in Ethiopia.
(Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Trade Centre.)