Nut Processing Plant

Below is the case study for the Ten Senses Ldt. nut processing factory in Nairobi, Africa.

Project nameTen Senses, Africa, Ltd.
LocationNairobi, Kenya
Date case study completedJan-11
Contact for more informationAllan Bussard
For more information on this project contact the TBN office at
Background, purpose and progress to date
What was the problem / opportunity?Macadamia farmers have not been paid enough for their produce to sustain a reasonable living. The national companies have been taking advantage of them.
What is the ProjectÕs vision?To process and export the worldÕs first (and only as far as we know) fair trade certified macadamia nuts in order to provide sustainable and stable incomes to macadamia farmers.
How is this vision to be achieved?By establishing a stable, successful macadamia processing and exporting facility in Nairobi, Kenya. This limited liability company establishes contracts with small farmersÕ cooperatives to provide them with them with consistent and sustainable payments for their bi-annual macadamia nut harvests.
What progress has been made to date?The trial plant was established and ran for a number of months. After running into problems with the management and two of the partners, that plant has closed down. A second plant is now up and running with a new management and new local partners, along with a significant grant from USAID and the Slovak Embassy of Kenya. This new processing facility will have state-of-the-art equipment that will improve quality and cut down costs.
Additionally, one farmers' cooperative has been established and is in the process of securing fair trade and organic certification. Agreements have been signed with this farmersÕ cooperative for the purchase of raw macadamia in shell. Fair Trade certification is now complete with this farmer group, making these the only fair trade certified macadamia nuts in the world.ÊThe second farmersÕ group has begun the process of being established as a registered cooperative, as well as beginning steps for fair trade and organic certification.
When will the project be self funding, i.e. cost covered by earned income?The project is projected to be self-funding within 18 months of start.
What has been the direct and indirect impact of the project to date?Macadamia farmers have received a fair price for their macadamia nuts for two harvests. Also, day workers have received employment at the plant during the time of processing the nuts.
Specifically, how many FTE jobs have been created or sustained? 35 FTE jobs have been created. Additionally, 1,800 farmersÕ families have been supported through the project.
How much direct and indirect investment has been made to date?$ 68, 645 has been invested to date for the initial start up and trial run of the processing facility.
Lessons learned
What lessons have been learned? What do you know now that you wish you knew at the outset?We've learned that strong systems of accountability need to be in place from the outset and that our Kenyan partners need to be actively involved in the project. WeÕve also learned the importance of high quality equipment and facilities in order to produce a quality product at reasonable cost.
Expansion and replication
What are your plans to expand or replicate the project?We plan to continue growing our processing capacity in order to purchase more and more fair trade macadamia from farmers in rural areas of Kenya. We are also active in developing markets for fair trade macadamia in Europe and N. America.
How many FTE jobs do you expect to have been created or sustained in 3 years?In addition to the 35, 15 more FTE jobs will be created and sustained over the next three years, totalling 50 FTE jobs.
What help do you need to achieve your goals?Additional funding to finance working capital as we start up. Please contact us for further information.
Could this project be replicated by others elsewhere? What would be needed to do this?Yes. We could discuss a partnership for a similar project in other locations.
Are there documents to aid replication in the TBN resource library?Not at this time. However, additional materials are available upon request.

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Ten Senses Africa Ltd. nut processing - Kenya

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