India’s farmers are still mostly practicing organic methods, passed down for millennia. Organic fertilizer and natural pest control are the only tools available to most of these farmers, who have always lacked the financial resources to explore chemical solutions. But these farmers, whose produce is as organic as they come, cannot afford to pay the fees required to gain official certification.
To help these farmers, the company launched an organic project in the year 2001 and received its first organic certification from SKAL international (Currently known as Control Union Certifications).
The project consists of three entities:
The organic project has 2664 farmers in it and is spread over a total are of over 5000 ha in the states of Goa and Maharastra. More than 80% of the producers of raw cashew nuts are small and marginal farmers having an area of less than 4 hectares. Cashew crop is the major source of income for more than 90% of these farmers. The main objective of the company is to make collective bargaining for their agricultural produce and to represent themselves with any government authorities. The group is also in the process of obtaining a fair trade certification for it.
The processor and the producers group are working closely with the dept agriculture for getting cashew saplings and organic manure. The department provides them at subsidized rates, while the processors fund the producer contribution. The saplings are delivered at the doorstep of the producers at zero cost. The dept of agriculture also supports the producers with various incentives. Raw nut are purchased from the farmer groups, by the processor company at a premium to market rates.
The Project is inspected and certified by Control Union Certifications, and currently meets the following standards:
Council Regulation EEC 2092/91