East Bali Cashews (EBC) was awarded the 2015 US Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence (“ACE”) on March 1, 2016, for its outstanding societal impact by a small or medium enterprise. Founder and CEO Aaron Fishman received the award in a ceremony in the Benjamin Franklin Room of the US Department of State.
EBC was nominated by US Ambassador to Indonesia Robert Blake.
Joining Mr. Fishman at the event were Nyoman Sudiarta, EBC General Manager and Made Sudarma, EBC Head of Purchasing.
The Secretary of State has awarded the ACE each year since 1999 to recognize American companies that are leaders in responsible business conduct worldwide. The companies considered for the award must make important contributions to the growth and sustainable development of the local economies in which they operate.
EBC founder Aaron Fishman giving his acceptance speech for winning the Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence!
“It has been a true honor to receive the Secretary of State’s award and be recognized for our efforts,” said EBC Founder and CEO Aaron Fishman. “It has been our mission to enhance the lives of people within the Desa Ban community by creating a business that creates jobs where few had existed. We have been able to create a profitable business that empowers women through employment and education, helps farmers maximize their production, all while keeping the environment in mind.”
EBC uses sustainable, eco-friendly business practices to process unshelled cashews, package and sell them to the domestic and international markets. The company is based in the rural village of Desa Ban, creating employment opportunities to the community where per capita income was US$2 per day. The company employs approximately 350 people, 85% of whom are previously unemployed women who have never before had an opportunity to earn a steady income.
In addition to its core cashew processing business, EBC has extended its brand to include an early learning center for young villagers and has launched a development platform that enables farmers to collect more products to generate greater income, thus providing them with an increased opportunity to rise out of poverty. The State Department noted that EBC has improved the quality of local agricultural production, modernized its methods and expanded services to address the health and education needs of over 800 children of company employees.
Members of KKR’s private equity teams from Sydney and Singapore and the regional Public Affairs team volunteered their time and offered their expertise by developing EBC’s financial model and business plan. As a direct result, EBC was able to raise $900,000 in 2013 and $1.5 million in 2014 in new financing, enabling it to build a second factory, purchase 30 additional cutting machines and 4 state-of-the-art processors, triple the size of its warehouse, hire 250 new employees, and commence exporting.
“At its core, East Bali Cashews is similar to businesses in which KKR has invested – of course on a much smaller scale. It offers a great product to domestic and international markets while using sustainable and eco-friendly business practices. What makes them unique is that they do this as a start-up while focusing on creating employment and supporting education where it is most needed – an impoverished village in Bali where the average income is less than $2 per day,” said Joseph Y. Bae, Member and Managing Partner of KKR Asia.
“We are immensely grateful to our partners KKR and Impact Investment Exchange in Asia for first providing us with the support which put EBC on the path to sustainable business growth while generating greater social impact,” said Mr. Fishman.
“Without KKR’s support and guidance, we would never have raised the capital at the pace we have done so. They completely accelerated our growth,” added Mr. Fishman.
In 2014, EBC began exporting to Singapore, the company’s first and most important export market in South-East Asia. EBC has subsequently opened sales channels in the US, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and New Zealand. East Bali Cashews can be purchased in the US on Amazon.
About East Bali Cashews
We’re nuts about cashews. Our top-quality local, fresh and natural cashews are always gluten-free and vegan with zero cholesterol. When you eat them, you are enjoying more than a healthy superfood. You are helping us improve the social, economic and agricultural conditions of our home, Desa Ban, Indonesia, a village in the mountains of East Bali, a region which suffers from staggering poverty, lack of education and unforgiving terrain.
We are a young, energetic company who are revolutionizing the cashew trade by doing things differently. We built our factory in a central location with one purpose: to provide you with the freshest, most ethically sourced cashews possible while lifting up our community. We buy directly from local small-holder farmers and process the cashews in the village where they are grown before shipping them off for you to enjoy. We educate and empower farmers and their families, produce our own energy using cashew shell biomass, and we’re launching new initiatives all the time to find new ways to grow together. We now employ 350 people in the region, 90% of whom are women who had few to no opportunities before we opened our doors.
Sustainability in all its forms and community empowerment is fundamental to our philosophy. Our commitment to a triple bottom line means that people and planet come first, and profit sustains and supports each. Together with our Ban family, we’ve worked hard to make it so that when you choose East Bali Cashews, you are receiving the highest quality, freshest cashews, made with natural ingredients and pure love. No Preservatives. No artificial ingredients. No BS. Just what we think are the best cashews in the world.
For additional information, please visit East Bali Cashews’ website at www.eastbalicashews.com.
All images taken from EBC’s Instagram