Asia and Europe: Nut processing
We discovered that large wild walnut forests exist in many parts of Asia, and though a small percentage of the nuts are eaten by people living in the region, most are not harvested because of the vast supply making it impossible to sell them locally. By setting up a walnut processing factory in one such region, we created an opportunity for farmers and families to sell their walnuts for a fair price. This collaboration creates an additional income stream for many in the community, employs several people, and profits by selling large quantities of nuts to international clients.
In the nut processing factory walnuts are dried, cracked, sorted, and packaged mechanically before being shipped out. Mechanical processing of the nuts increases the value of the final product since the nuts are uniformly handled and will last longer before spoiling. Additionally, the efficiency of the factory allows those in the area to harvest and benefit from a larger proportion of the readily available nuts, an opportunity which would otherwise be lost. The factory in itself is sufficiently profitable that it supports factory workers and distributors, while also providing financial support for local projects which benefit the community.
Before the factory was built, farmers were not able to sell their walnuts since availability was so high and manual processing of the nuts was not efficient enough to allow for international trade. By selling to the factory, farmers are given a much higher price and the nuts can be exported to regions where walnuts are more highly valued. The factory provides employment for 5 people from the community, and as our employees meet with the walnut farmers regularly they are able to share about their lives and faith.