Tracing Cashew production in ghana

Red River Foods: Helping Red River Foods Trace the Production of Cashew Nuts in Ghana

Starting in the 1990s, as a nut and dried fruit importer, Red River Foods has now built sourcing and processing facilities worldwide. As a result, this US-based company has become a global leader in the production of cashew nuts, dried fruit, seeds, and specialty snacks.

Red River Foods’ mission is three-pronged:

  • Providing food supply chain-related expert market insights.
  • Supporting sustainable supply chain solutions.
  • Delivering the highest quality products.
Aiming to improve their farm-to-fork value chain traceability, Red River Foods screened a series of agricultural supply chain software. Thanks to a more competitive product price and a supportive team, Farmforce won over other digital farming tools.

A Fast-Growing Sustainability-Led Adoption

To begin with, Red River Foods acquired 12 Farmforce licenses to implement our sustainable food supply chain management software as a service (SaaS) in Ghana. After a year, the company not only doubled its Ghanaian users but also extended the adoption of our food traceability software in Benin and Cote d’Ivoire. Today, Red River Foods has over 6,000 farmers digitised, and their coverage continues to expand.

Farmforce’s easy-to-track sustainability metrics were the main factor driving its usage at Red River Foods. In a nutshell, Red River Foods harnessed the Farmforce software for farm data management to create complex surveys, a consistent farmers database across multiple devices, and field maps.

Digitizing Cashew Nut Farms in Ghana

“The mapping function, the survey function, and the farmer registration process was intuitive to train staff on and use in the field. Additionally, the ability to sync information across all devices in low wi-fi zones, was also a huge feature that most software providers are not really thinking about,” said David.
On the other hand, the firm’s Monitoring & Evaluation Officers leveraged software features when partnering with the GIZ project to develop the Competitive Cashew Initiative (ComCashew). A matching fund program in Ghana. 
“We were the recipient of a matching fund program whereby GIZ would match up to 40% of the costs of a proposed project.  We proposed a project in which RRF would subsidise the provision of productivity-enhancing activities such as pruning and thinning of cashew orchards in Ghana,” David said.
As part of this initiative, Red River Foods mapped 500 farms across Ghana and trained 800 growers on sustainable farming techniques. In collaboration with Farmforce, they could digitise farmer profiles to help the field-to-vessel journey of their cashew nuts.

The Farm-To-Fork Nutcracker

Cashew production in Ghana and many other countries are built on a complex supply chain, involving multiple processing stages and stakeholders. Therefore, the importance of interoperability in achieving an up-to-standard food supply chain traceability is on everyone’s minds. On this note, Farmforce acted as a connector between the company and other players in the agricultural sector to foster a more sustainable value chain development.

As explained by our CEO, Anne Jorun, during the last World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit (WAIS) in San Francisco, ‘Farmforce firmly believes that interoperability is key to boosting traceability in the food supply chain. Therefore, we have committed to leading the way by liaising with all stakeholders involved in the agri-business sector.’

When talking about the challenges in sustainability and nut supply chains, Dan Phipps, President, and CEO of Red River Foods says that “Building an equitable and sustainable nut supply requires an in-depth understanding and participation within all steps of the process from raw material procurement through processing and logistics. We believe maintaining a consistent presence within growing communities, processing facilities, and consumer markets is key to supplying high-quality products, providing expert market advice, and building sustainable supply chains. The incredibly vast growing area of cashews and other widely consumed tree nuts makes it difficult to establish operations within every country making traceability and transparency more challenging.”

cashew,fruit.,cashew,fruit,(anacardium,occidentale),hanging,on,tree.,cashew

At Farmforce, food’s first mile is our passion. Our SaaS solutions provide organizations with the confidence to secure sustainable sourcing, improve farmers’ quality of life and protect the environment. We turn data into tools, which means more vetted acres, more measurable impact on communities, more financial opportunities for farmers, and more clarity for customers. We believe in building a better food supply where it starts. Farmforce customers span 28 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. With over nine years of experience now managing over 735,000+ farmers in 27 crop value chains in 15 languages on our platform. A continuous loop of innovation with our customers in the center of food’s first mile journey.