Sunshine Nut Co.

Culture

Team

Don Larson

Founder & CEO

Favorite Cashew: That is a very difficult question for me as I developed all the flavors. Each is amazing. The buttery herb flavor satisfies like a meal. The spiced gets my body into high gear. The salted just makes me want to finish the bag and open another one. The plain makes me appreciate just how amazing the taste of a cashew can be if done properly.

Favorite Place in Mozambique: At Sunshine Nut Company. For the first time in my life, my work is not a job, it is life. I have found my purpose. I have found satisfaction. I have found abundance.

I love Sunshine Nut Co. because…I am able to tangibly improve a person’s life. Those changes are happening with orphans in the communities, with workers at the factory, and even with people I talk with around the world. Our business is a catalyst for change on many levels. That is the most rewarding thing. To see our efforts improve a person’s life for the better.

Terri Larson

Director of Social Impact

Favorite Cashew: Sprinkling of Salt

Favorite place in Mozambique: My favorite place to be is out in the orphanages and communities, especially at our weekly community feedings. I love being anywhere there are children.

I love Sunshine Nut Co. because…I get the privilege of being a part of the lives of people in Mozambique. It is very rewarding to provide hope and opportunity to them through the programs we implement, and sometimes through just a hug, balloon, or piece of candy.

Ryan Shenk

US Operations Manager

Favorite Cashew: Spark of Spices

Favorite place in Mozambique: The ocean. It is an incredible coastline with a lot of activity.

I love Sunshine Nut Co. because…I get to train our sales team and brand ambassadors. I love being a part of the energy, enthusiasm and resulting impact their sales have on our mission!

Prescila Canotilho

Factory Manager

Favorite Cashew: Sprinkling of Salt

Favorite Place in Mozambique: Inhambane

I love Sunshine Nut Co. because…I see the impact we are having on people’s lives every day. Being a part of this company is rewarding and challenges me to be a better person!

Luis Canotilho

Engineering and Logistics Manager

Favorite Cashew: Sprinkling of Salt

Favorite Place in Mozambique: The Inhambane coastline – secret spot.

I love Sunshine Nut Co. because…I have the privilege of uplifting people with virtually no work experience to become outstanding professionals who could leave Sunshine and get a job anywhere in the world. No matter where our employees go next, I know they will lead dignifying and valuable lives.

Tarryn Govender

Quality Manager

Favorite Cashew: Is it cheeky to say all of them?

Favorite Place in Mozambique: Anywhere I am surrounded by those I am able to love on and be loved by. Also, the ocean! There’s something about it that makes you realize what an incredible God we serve.

I love Sunshine Nut Co. because…I know that in some way, whether big or small, I am helping someone less fortunate than me.

Sebi Sikhakhane

Administrative Assistant

Favorite Cashew: Spiced spiced and more spiced!

Favorite Place in Mozambique: The ocean! Mozambique is really blessed with beautiful and amazing beaches.

I love Sunshine Nut Co. because…we bring transformation, hope and love to the lives of disadvantaged families and communities everywhere we go.

Binario Fumo

Production Manager

Favorite Cashew: Sprinkling of Salt

Favorite Place in Mozambique: My home.

I love Sunshine Nut Co. because…I know that through my contribution, I can be able to help another person, specifically orphans and widows.

Partnerships

Humble Brush

We partnered with Humble Brush in 2016 to bring a team of international dental students to host dental trainings at two local public schools. Toothbrushes and toothpaste were donated and students and teachers were trained on sanitary dental practices. Each school has implemented a program in which students brush their teeth as a part of the regular school day. We also devised a strategy to ensure the longevity of the program, appointing a program leader and creating an applicable toothbrush storage system at each school. We plan for this program to continue and have already identified the two public schools that will benefit for 2017.

Soapbox Soaps

We partner with Soapbox Soaps on a monthly basis to give bars of soap to 650 children and their families. The soap is given through our community projects and helps minimize chances of illness and infection from improper washing methods. Soapbox has also supported our work with medical outreaches and dental programs by funding the distribution of thousands of bars of soap.

Global Vision 2020

Global Vision provided eye charts that were used to assess the vision of people during medical outreaches conducted in the Manjacaze district. They also provided eyeglasses that were distributed to those people who were identified as having poor vision.

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University partnered with us in completing standard of living assessments in the Manjacaze district. Our teams interviewed 120 families in 4 villages. We have identified this area of Mozambique as a possible location for a future factory. The assessments will help us identify the impact we would have on this area should a factory be placed there.

Northwestern University

Northwestern University has committed to partnering with us in creating a Community Health Worker Program. The purpose of this program is to identify and train a health worker in distant rural areas where people do not have access to medical care. This effort is being headed by Dr. Heidi Abiad- Sampang, who received her Master’s degree in Global Health from Northwestern. She was joined by a fellow graduate student, Joey Walker, as we formed teams to assess the health needs in rural Mozambique. Our teams interviewed 60 families using a World Health Organization questionnaire that focused on determining their past and current health needs and their access to health care. A medical outreach was conducted in three villages to give the team a first-hand understanding of what common medical needs exist. We are moving forward with this program and have already identified a local community and worker in this community to receive training from Dr. Sampang. We will provide the salary for this worker as well as medical supplies.

Mozambique

Mozambique is a breathtakingly beautiful country on the Southeastern coast of Africa. The coast is lined with tranquil beaches and the capital city of Maputo is a hectic, developing urban jungle. From North to South, you will find bright colors of “capulana” fabric, noisy “chapas” hailing customers needing public transportation, and of course, cashews.

Though Mozambique’s urban areas are ever-growing, over 75% of the country remains in extremely rural settings. The soil is conducive to significant agricultural productivity but years of drought, floods, insecurity and corruption have forced most farmers to continue to produce on only a subsistence level. While Mozambique used to be the world’s top exporter of cashews, the industry crumbled when the country fell into a civil war lasting two decades after gaining independence from Portugal in 1975.  Many other industries in the country followed suit, forcing able citizens to emigrate to neighboring countries to look for jobs. Even to this day, it is common to find families where the father lives in another country with a separate family, and only comes home to visit once a year. This phenomenon has severely damaged the family structure in Mozambique, causing young people in entire villages to grow up without a strong male influence.

However, despite these conditions, cashew farming is one of the most common and reliable agricultural activities for farmers who remain in the village because the Mozambican climate is ideal for the tree’s fruit. For over one million rural farmers, the growth of the cashew industry in Mozambique is crucial to their economic well being. The past few years have shown increased demand for the product, giving rise to a revival of abandoned factories and a many more trees being planted.

Once the 3rd poorest nation in the world, Mozambique has recently made strides of economic improvement, but increasing levels of debt continue to hinder significant growth. It has one of the highest birth rates in the world, yet it also maintains a similarly high mortality rate. Over 45% of the population is under the age of 15, and some sources estimate that 10% of Mozambique’s population is orphaned.

It was in these conditions that Sunshine Nut Company planted roots in Mozambique. We celebrate the beauty and small joys of this nation daily, while ensuring every aspect of our business and philanthropic work targets and strengthens the needs of the country we now call home.

Story of Cashews

Cashew tree sapling takes 3 years to produce fruit
Tree with flowering and cashew nut attached to forming apple
Fully mature cashew apple with cashew nut attached
Typical smallholder farmer has 5 trees on family plot of land
Family sells cashew harvest at local market where it is weighed and traded for other needed items such as rice tomatoes or onions
Local Market collects in burlap bags
Burlap bags are weighed and sold to shelling factories
Factories store cashews in safe conditions
Raw cashews are sorted by size
Raw cashews are steamed to soften the shell
Raw cashews are taken from steamers and cooled on cement floor
Raw cashews are sheered to remove cashew kernel
Sheering device is both hand and foot activated requiring skill
Cashews kernels just sheered have peel which must be heated in oven
Once heated - peel is removed manually
Lots of people needed to remove the peel on the cashew kernel
Peeled cashew is what we consider a raw cashew in the store
These employees inspect for only premium kernels to pass through
Grading to sort them by size and color
Grading of cashews by size before packaging
Raw cashew kernels packaged for shipment to Sunshine Nut Company
Cashew kernel ready for shipment to roasting factories
This truck delivers the raw cashew kernels to Sunshine Nut Company down the road
Sunshine Nut Company does thorough inspection at multiple points in factory to assure only premium passes through
There are lots of eyes looking for anything not worthy of Sunshine Nut Company quality to be removed
Cashew is transported to Roasting Area
Cashews are roasted to golden perfection
Roasted and seasoned and then packaged manually with love
We fill manually to supply jobs to people instead of machines
Packages are sealed and inspected for perfection
Our employees are proud to make the freshest and tastiest cashews in the world
The cartons are then taped
The cartons are bulk packed in containers
Containers ship internationally
Maputo Port to Baltimore Port - ready to be served
We partner with the most state of the art distribution to keep our costs low
Now you know the complete story shen you see Sunshine Nut Co cashews at your local stores