The Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association (PTNPA) recently returned from a milestone international trade visit, focused on meetings with leading cashew processors, influential governmental officials, and business leaders in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast). The trip facilitated information exchanges with the Ivory Coast’s nascent cashew processing industry that provided context and understanding, and strengthened relationships within the global nut community.

Ivory Coast is a leading producer of cashew nuts with an estimated production of 1,225,935 tons in 2023. With support from the Ivory Coast government, the industry hopes to increase production by 50 percent by 2030. The Ivory Coast nut industry hopes to meet U.S. food safety standards to enable import into the U.S. market.

Throughout the three-day tour, PTNPA and the delegation helmed briefings attended by hundreds of members of the press and public. Discussions focused on food safety systems and the expectations outlined in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), along with hopes and dreams for business growth in U.S. markets. The PTNPA highlighted the U.S. regulatory environment, industry best practices, and opportunities for continued partnership and expanded commerce.

The Côte d'Ivoire's Cotton and Cashew Council invited PTNPA's CEO Jeannie Shaughnessy to the multi-day event. Shaughnessy was guided by Losseni Kone of Ivory Cashew and joined by PTNPA Member Michael Coughlin of Coughlin Insurance Services.

Visiting locations including Abidjan, Toumodi, and Yamoussoukro, Shaughnessy, and the delegation toured cashew processing facilities and met with government leaders including Prime Minister Robert Beugré Mambé, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani, the President of Côte d'Ivoire Chamber of Commerce and Industry Faman Touré, the Director General of the Cotton and Cashew Council Dr. Adama Coulibaly, and the U.S. Ambassador to the Ivory Coast Jessica Davis Ba.