Aaron Fishman is the ultimate explorer. He travelled the world in search of new and exciting experiences; he taught French cooking techniques in Japan; he learned the art of stewed black beans from an Oaxacan grandmother. Aaron found his truth through food.
In 2012, Aaron travelled to rural East Bali as a healthcare volunteer. He was astonished by the breathtaking beauty of the region. The volcanoes, dense jungle and rugged hillsides are home to a rich, complex culture and a vibrant community. Yet Aaron discovered that behind the beauty, East Bali is an impoverished region of cashew farmers. Farmers sold raw cashews to traders who shipped them overseas for processing. The entrepreneur in Aaron saw an opportunity for a powerful social venture that would bring livelihood and educational opportunities to the region.
At the core of his idea was a business that created jobs and improved the quality of life for the community. He envisioned a globally responsible company that made honest food through genuine, transparent and sustainable business practices. From the humble village of Desa Ban, East Bali Cashews was born.
At East Bali Cashews we believe “you are what you eat”. That’s why whenever possible we source our ingredients fresh from the local trees and gardens of Karangasem. Organic ginger, chili peppers, coconuts, rosella and plenty more are deliciously combined with the highest-quality cashews in the world. Our kitchen cooks up snacks that are healthy, gourmet and worry-free.
We have expanded rapidly from a few stores in Bali to international sales across Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the US. Every sale makes it possible to provide over 400 jobs in East Bali. Most of those jobs are filled by previously unemployed local women who now have a personal source of income and access to education and professional development.
As the business has achieved commercial success, we have expanded our social impact. We are firmly committed to creating opportunity in East Bali. We have built the area’s first preschool, cultivated professional potential and implemented farming improvement projects. The social mission of East Bali Cashews ensures that our community can learn, innovate and thrive.
There is so much to celebrate at East Bali Cashews, but we are still growing! Our young team has ambitious goals to expand into international markets. We plan on completely replenishing Bali’s 77,000 hectares of cashew trees within the next decade to ensure a healthy foundation for the cashew growing communities. We will continue to conduct research on the impact of our social enterprise and study innovative methods of cashew breeding.
We have modeled our business to go beyond the community of Desa Ban, to branch out and start making an impact elsewhere. Perhaps the most important part of East Bali Cashews is its scalability and autonomy to bring development where it matters.
For now, we’re focused on creating sustainable and positive change in East Bali…a few nuts at a time!