Sunshine Update #4 – Factory builds, expansions, and renovations

Posted by Donald Larson on

Today I would like to give you a guided tour of our facilities from our humble beginnings through to today. My staff and I have worked to create efficient, productive factories that take into account our manufacturing needs and the limitations we often are faced with here in a developing African country. It is not unusual to go days without electricity or power. Even a short shut down of these essentials in a manufacturing day can be devastating for a business. This is a reality for our factory that is located just outside the capital city of Maputo. Yet we have surmounted these potential shutdowns with generators and water tanks. Now that our Village Projects are underway, the challenge was even greater. These factories are located far out in the bush areas where electric or water supply do not even exist. We overcame this challenge with the use of solar panels, installing water wells, and using a process called pyrolysis to convert the cashew shell into bio-fuel and bio-char (a charcoal used to fuel the equipment).

Let’s start with our manufacturing facility located in the Beluluane Industrial Park in Matola.

BELULUANE (Maputo Province)

We chose this location in 2012 because it is a Free Trade Zone. This means that our company gets duty-free exemption on all equipment and product materials. We also get financial incentives, lower taxes, and other benefits by being located here. The most important aspect is the laws protecting us which are quite pro-business. The park is heavily fenced and guarded, making it a very safe environment.

We bought this property in 2012. It had been a factory that produced high end safari hats for a company called Rogue. This is what it looked like when we arrived. I was drawn to the small building and could envision how it could be reconfigured to house a pilot cashew processing line. There also was ample space on the property for expansion.

This building is home to our cashew roasting process where we roast, season, and package the world’s freshest, best tasting cashews. This small building has the capacity to produce $10 million in sales annually of our 200g cashew bags.

This is our roaster purchased and shipped from the United States. It is the best equipment that can be purchased. Here the world’s best cashews are roasted. In addition to having the state-of-the-art equipment, our factory has the highest food safety certification in the world...the FSSC22000. Our European auditors come in every year for our intense inspections and are always impressed with the level of sanitation and operation. We can sell into any retailer in the world without a question of our quality level.


This photo shows the manual packaging line for our cashews. It usually has 15 people working at the stations around these tables. Our staff spends the day singing, dancing, and laughing as they weigh out and package each bag to perfection.

In 2022, we added on a section to this original building (seen on your right in the photo below) that increased the building’s size by 50%. In this new addition, we have the space to produce our single-serve 30-gram packages and the automated line for our airline 15-gram packages. Last year, Sunshine Nut Company won an award in a global airline magazine for being the best economy airline snack. We anticipate increased sales.

This piece of equipment, housed in the new addition to the original factory building, is capable of producing pillow pack bags from sample size all the way up to one-pound size. It enables a wealth of packaging possibilities and options for us.

In December 2023, we completed construction of the building pictured above. This building provided much needed office space for our growing staff and houses the manufacturing line for our soon to be introduced cashew butter line …


…as well as an area for the final deshelling of the cashews we will purchase from the farming families in our Villages Project.


This month, we just completed the construction of our new warehouse. This building has been desperately needed for 10 years to house our packaging materials. Its completion allows us the space needed to easily store and access the materials needed to package our product.



Welcome to our newly completed model village factory located in Muchenguentava. This factory is located in a very rural area, away from any electricity or water supply. This factory will prove that we can be efficient and sustainable in an off-grid environment. We purposely located this factory here because this is the type of remote environment where the majority of Mozambican subsistence farmers live. Farming families suffer because they have no ability to transport their product for sale. Therefore, they are exploited by traders who come and offer them very little for their harvest. They are forced to accept because they have no one else to purchase their harvests. But now, they will have the opportunity to partner with both the Sunshine Approach Foundation and the Sunshine Nut Company and substantially increase their incomes.


This is where 10-12 families will come at a time to shell their cashews. This step will add value to their harvest from the community farm, allowing them to significantly increase their income.

 PALMA (Cabo Delgado Province)

Pictured above is our newly constructed and soon-to-be operational shelling factory located in the Palma District of the Cabo Delgado Province. This is our base of operations as we expand all over the conflict region of this northern province where an Islamic insurgency has been active for the last seven years, leaving over 4,000 people dead and a million people displaced. The base consists of a 165,000-tree nursery, a model farm, a training center, a 1,250 metric ton processing facility, and staff residences.


This is the first of three new buildings. It houses the steaming system. This is the initial step in removing the shell from the raw cashew nut.


 After the outer shell has been cut, the nut itself is removed manually from the shell.

Our automatic cutting machines slice open the shell of the steamed cashew nut.

We are positioned uniquely as a cashew company that is vertically integrated from the farm level all the way to the consumer. We have cut out all the middlemen to benefit the small holder farmer. These small holder farmers are the reason we developed the Sunshine Approach Business Model. We want to see them have the dignity, opportunity, and hope that they deserve to enjoy. We aim to reverse the many generations of neglect and exploitation that have kept these people in poverty.

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