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  • US Embassy Singapore Honors East Bali Cashews for Corporate Excellence

    Apr 29th, 2016

    The US Embassy in Singapore has honored East Bali Cashews (“EBC”) for its outstanding societal impact following EBC’s win of the 2015 US Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence (“ACE”). EBC received that award during a ceremony at the US Department of State in Washington DC earlier this year.

    “It is easy to find value in good cashews, but it takes real vision and concern for others to do what East Bali Cashews has done to uplift an entire community,” said Blair P. Hall, Jr., Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Singapore. “Secretary Kerry chose to honor EBC and its founder, Aaron Fishman, because his business has been transformative. EBC now employs over 350 people in Bali, including previously unemployed women, while building a preschool for employees' children and increasing incomes of local farmers by 20 percent along the way.”

    Since 1999, the Secretary of State awards the ACE each year to recognize companies that are leaders in responsible business conduct worldwide and make important contributions to the growth and sustainable development of the local economies in which they operate.

    “Aaron embodies the best of American social entrepreneurialism and the can-do attitude of US entrepreneurs, who look at a problem and see solutions, not impediments, and who look at a business relationship as an investment for the long-term, not a transaction for the short term,” Mr. Hall continued. “Aaron did not do it alone. Pro-bono assistance from US investment firm KKR in partnership with Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) gave him the business tools he needed and provided another showcase for something Americans and American businesses do so well – Corporate Social Responsibility, in which the United States is a global leader.”

    During the honor ceremony located at the residence of the Deputy Chief of Mission, Founder and CEO of EBC Aaron Fishman discussed the business and its community empowerment philosophy.

    “It has been a true honor to receive the Secretary of State’s award,” said EBC Founder and CEO Aaron Fishman. “The ACE underscores our efforts to enhance the lives of people in the village of Desa Ban, Karangasem, East Bali, by creating new jobs, offering social services and equipping people to rise out of poverty.”

    EBC uses sustainable, eco-friendly business practices to process unshelled cashews, package and sell them to the domestic and international markets. The company is based in Desa Ban, creating employment opportunities where per capita income is US$2 per day.

    During its initial stages, global investment firm KKR offered its expertise by helping develop EBC’s financial model and business plan.

    “East Bali Cashews creates social value in a local Indonesian community as part of its business model,” said Kabir Mathur, Director at KKR Southeast Asia and a member of KKR’s capacity building impact investment team. “KKR is extremely proud of the work East Bali Cashews has done and for being part of its journey.”

    “Without KKR’s support and guidance, we would never have raised the capital at the pace we have done so. They completely accelerated our growth,” added Mr. Fishman.

    In presenting the award, the State Department noted how EBC has improved the quality of local agricultural production, modernized its methods and expanded services to address the health and education needs of the children of company employees.

    Company Readies Launch of East Bali Center for Community Development

    As EBC has become more embedded within the Ban community, they have come to understand not only the depth of need in the region, but how to successfully implement social programming to catalyze sustainable change.

    In order to leverage EBC’s community relationships and expand their social impact, EBC is launching a venture philanthropy initiative, the East Bali Center for Community Development (EBCCD).

    The EBCCD is raising contributions to fund programs that will generate community empowerment through farmer education. Providing farmers with the knowledge on best practices for crops can best raise the living standards in Desa Ban.

    The EBCCD will also contain a lodge which will be a service-learning provider, offering social, environmental and cross-cultural learning adventures aimed at international school groups.

    “EBC has been visionary in building a profitable business that simultaneously generates a powerful social impact. EBC’s creating a new model of social entrepreneurship based on venture philanthropy to find new ways to impact the lives of its community is an exciting development,” said Steven R. Okun, Director of Public Affairs at KKR Asia Pacific, who serves as an advisor to the EBCCD.

    About East Bali Cashews

    We're nuts about cashews. Our top-quality local, fresh and natural cashews are gluten-free and vegan with zero cholesterol. When you eat them, you are enjoying more than a healthy superfood. You are helping improve the social, economic and agricultural conditions of our home, Desa Ban, Indonesia, a village in the mountains of East Bali, a region suffering from staggering poverty, lack of education and unforgiving terrain.

    We are a young, energetic company who are revolutionizing the cashew trade by doing things differently. We built our factory in a central location with one purpose: to provide you with the freshest, most ethically sourced cashews possible while lifting up our community. We buy directly from local small-holder farmers and process the cashews in the village where they are grown before shipping them off for you to enjoy. We educate and empower farmers and their families, produce our own energy using cashew shell biomass, and we're launching new initiatives all the time to find new ways to grow together. We now employ 350 people in the region, 85% of whom are women who had few to no opportunities before we opened our doors.

    Sustainability in all its forms and community empowerment is fundamental to our philosophy. Our commitment to a triple bottom line means that people and planet come first, and profit sustains and supports each. Together with our Ban family, we've worked hard to make it so that when you choose East Bali Cashews, you are receiving the highest quality, freshest cashews, made with natural ingredients and pure love. No Preservatives. No artificial ingredients. No BS. Just what we think are the best cashews in the world.

    For additional information, please visit East Bali Cashews’ website at www.eastbalicashews.com.

    Contacts

    East Bali Cashews

    Jonas Preisler (English)

    jonas@eastbalicashews.com

    or

    Tria Dinanti (Indonesian)

    tria@eastbalicashews.com


    Source: www.businesswire.com