Let’s start with my home, the Achal Group, where my ilk and I become our best versions, come out of our shells, so to speak. The Achal Group of industries operates two cashew factories in India - Achal Industries Private Limited and Achal Cashews Private Limited, in Mangalore, Karnataka and in the village Turkewadi, Maharashtra respectively. Both of which manufacture world-class speciality cashew kernels such as myself.
Achal group is engaged not only in the manufacture but also the export of Cashew Kernels. And this amazing companyhas introduced several innovations in the industry. Such as Steam Roasting (my boys and I love a good sauna), poly pouches for instead of tins, and carton-less export.
It was also the first Cashew Factory in the world to be certified for Food Safety Management System in 2006. That’s why I’m so healthy and in tip-top shape!
Achal Industries has been supplying Certified Organic Cashew Kernels from the year 1996 to its world buyers. The raw material for this is purchased from Certified Organic farms and manufactured in Certified Organic facilities.
Apart from all this, the Achal Group has 2 retail outlets in Mangalore and Bangalore to get the delicious goodness of me and my friends to its customers. At these retail outlets you will find various value-added products, some of which are the flagship of the company.
The unit was formed and promoted as a family unit by Sri. Gurpur Sadananda Prabhu. Presently Sri. Gurpur Giridhar Prabhu is the Managing director. Other family members handle various responsibilities as directors and eat cashews and other nuts in their spare time.
Ah, let’s step back in time now. About 38 years ago, precisely on 1st December 1981 Achal started commercial production of Cashew Kernels in Mangalore. Fast forward two years and another production unit was started on September 1983 in Turkewadi, Maharashtra.
I love Mangalore! It is my birth place or more specifically where the organized Cashew Processing Industry emerged. A family concern, Achal Industries was formed in Mangalore and has to its credit many innovations in Cashew Processing. I’m proud to come from a place which has rightfully acquired a prominent position in the Cashew World, especially, in terms of quality of the product and performance. I mean, have you seen my flawless ivory sheen?
This is a family business; the visionaries Late Sri G. Sadananda Prabhu in his 60's with his son Sri G. Giridhar Prabhu in his 30's started this venture. Sri G. Sadananda Prabhu was an amazing man and you couldn’t help but respect him. He declared his retirement at the age of 90 (who does that anymore?) Many of us would be happy to stop working and hope to spend our days pursuing areas of interest before we turn 30. He has been an inspiration and guiding lamp for many entrepreneurs with his 60 years of wide experience in handling and trading of produce and venture into small enterprise.
The cashew apple doesn’t fall far from the tree though! His equally enterprising son, G. Giridhar Prabhu has more than 35 years of experience in handling manufacture and development of the enterprise. He developed the small enterprise into a multi-location SME, introduced Achal to the world outside India and developed the business into a speciality.The credit for bringing it to its current stage goes to Mr G Giridhar Prabhu, who is quite the visionary when it comes to innovation. The entire Prabhu family supports him in this venture.
From a small beginning, it has grown to its present status of being the most modern, integrated Cashew Kernel manufacturing plant in India. It has developed and evolved in its niche segment and not as a mass commodity supplier. So, bear in mind that I’m exclusive ;)
Now let’s get down to some data. Achal Industries Pvt. Ltd. and Achal Cashews Private Limited are equipped to process 12 MT. of raw Cashew nuts per day and on an average process about 10MT. (that’s a lot of my brethren in a day! Way more than the number of Indians gathered at all wedding buffet :P). It has now in its possession 16,000 Sq meters of land in two locations in the industrial area of Baikampady, Mangalore, Karnataka, India.
At present it has about 7000 sq. meter areas of manufacturing and common facilities and 4815 sq. mt area of drying yards (this is where we soak in some sun while still safely ensconced in our shells).
Achal has now pioneered the art of manufacturing and supplying certified Organic Cashew Kernels; the same is reflected with its plethora of clientele and certification required by them.
Achal has in its list of certifications tucked snugly under my turban, such as, EEC, NPOP, NOP, JAS, COR, BioSusse and is confident of facing audits and achieving such certifications.Constant upgradation of its facilities is a hallmark of Achal.
I’ve travelled to many countries too thanks to Achal! I made my first trip abroad when the unit made a debut into Export in the year 1984. Its products are now making its way to all major international markets, in European countries like Germany, Switzerland and also to Korea and Japan.
I’m a law-abiding nut, and I help provide jobs. We have strived to meet all statutory and regulatory requirements of the State and Central Government. And we have contributed substantially to the economy both in direct employment generation and contribution by way of taxes.
We cashew nuts are the most popular tree nut amongst all edible nuts. This is evident by people’s consumption pattern and the consistent value I command in the world market in comparison to other nuts.
It makes me and my family very proud.
More than 900 workers are engaged directly or indirectly towards my service. 95% of this workforce from both our units in 2 states comprise of women from local areas.
The true reason I’m proud is not because I’m a popular nut but because I’m associated with Achal which has done lots of good things, not only for local communities but also for the environment.
Achal with its fair and just dealings with all related parties has developed an innate goodwill with the farmers and villages that supply raw cashew nuts in a wide spread geography of Goa and Maharashtra.
It’s this valued relationship that drives goodwill with the farmers and caters to the genuine nature of any project that is developed in these regions. The major one being the Cashew factory itself.
In the rural and village regions in Mangalore and Maharashtra, Achal has made a difference to every single person associated with it, directly or indirectly. May it be providing employment or providing opportunities for developing skills in the region.
Environmentally, Achal has been encouraging farmers to grow Cashew Saplings and has also been distributing good variety grafts suitable for the region, without any cost to the farmers of various surrounding villages, hence making a difference to social, environmental and economic sectors of the society.
The most successful and pioneered project that is progressing increasingly is the ORGanic Project, since 1996.
Let’s talk organic. There are many advantages to organic farming and its subsequent produce but unfortunately and sadly not many people are aware of it. Those who do know about it, know its value all too well and support it wholeheartedly. Achal is one such company that understands the importance of going organic.
Achal has in its association a team of over 5000 farmers who own and cultivate certified ORGanic Raw cashew nuts spread across the different geographies of Goa and Maharashtra.
These farmers are dedicated to this project. The freedom of association has always been respected and the dedication has never been compromised. This is due to the relationship that Achal has with its farmers, along with the fair price and premium that Achal pays to the farmers directly. Apart from the monetary benefits, Achal continues to provide necessary farm aids, training and guidance to these farmers from time to time, even organizes medical camps for them, at the end of the day are the food providers of the country.
A similar association with the employees in both the units caters to the authenticity of ORGanic processing as the employees are aware and alert in the processing unit.
The culture and values of Achal stand out to be genuine and is at a culmination of supplying authentic ORGanic Cashews to the world.
As I mentioned earlier, not everyone is yet into organic. Therefore, Achal is equally dedicated in its processing of conventional cashews that cater to the Indian customers in various states.
I’m called the king of nuts for a reason. The grooming it takes to reach my edible stage is complex and involves careful planning and processing. I take more time getting ready than any man or woman!
Predominantly, for a typical cashew to reach an edible stage or for it to be packed to be sold, takes about 12-14 days comprising a series of intense and laborious activities.
Let me give you a peek about the process,
Procurement and Drying
My brethren reach the factory from various parts of the 2 states in their shelled forms
We are high in moisture; hence it is important that we are dried to reduce the moisture content and this is usually accomplished by sun drying in peak summer
This activity is generally for 2 days and most critical for processing and output of the entire year. Like I said, we love some sunning.
Stacking and storing – once we are nice and dry, we are packed in jute gunnies and stacked for cooling up to 15 days.
We are still in our raw nut stage at this point, so we are then taken out for roasting and loaded into a steam cooker. The steam is let to flow through the enclosure and we are roasted for about 15-30 minutes. The timing depends on various factors like the type of nut, quality, weather etc. This is like a lovely sauna time for us.
Mechanized cutting machines split our hard-outer shell and then we, as kernels, are scooped out by hand, carefully and expertly using a simple specialised needle as a tool.
We scooped kernels are astringent in nature and may contain traces of Natural Anacardic acid and that makes us unsafe. Hence, we acidic kernels are sent into an oven, popularly called “Borma”, and roasted for 8 hrs.
Post this we, as cashews, are edible. However, at this stage we are not the most popular and are not in demand because we still have our outer peel or skin on.
Peeling and sorting
To remove the outer peel, we kernels are put into the peeling machine, which is pneumatically operated. The output is then run through the colour sorter, which separates our lot into various grades and also pieces and wholes.
Post which we are all manually segregated because of the number of variables we possess in terms of colour, texture, size and damages in processing.
The next stage is grading. This is like exams for us cashews. We are all graded into 20+ commercial grades. But we don’t mind, because whatever our grade, we ultimately end up in your tummy!
Once we are separated into our various grades, we are checked by the passers for accuracy and any extraneous matters. Once we get our final passed grades, we are sent for heating to eliminate any microbial risks. That ensures that we are super healthy for you!
Packing and Dispatch
A dedicated packing line equipped with magnets, aspirators and 2 metal detectors are used to check and inspect all of us regardless of our grade for any metal, non-metal contamination before final packing.
The belt then leads us to a hopper and the packer mechanically loads the moulds with accurate quantity of kernels for export packing.
These pouches are then vacuum flushed and filled with Inert gas for maintaining the freshness and killing any potential infestation.
So now you know that no expense and diligence is spared in ensuring that you get us at our best!
Sometimes it’s not enough to have us in our natural edible form. People want variety in our flavours. Hence, Achal has in its list of specialities a plethora of flavours that we blend into.
Apart from us cashews, Achal through its sister concerns deals and processes all major dried fruits like almonds, pistachio, walnuts, dates – dry and wet, raisins, macadamia nuts, hazelnut and spices like pepper – black and white, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin seeds, poppy seeds, mustard seeds, nut meg, nut mace etc.
We are one big, happy dry fruit and spice family!
Achal also manufactures various sweets like Kaju-Kathli, banana halwa, wheat Halwa, dates halwa and dried fruits halwa, in pure ghee, in its capacity of associated concerns.
These are very popular among its patrons as Achal does not use any artificial colouring or preservatives.
As you must know if you have paid attention till this point, each of Achal’s products are carefully procured and reprocessed to meet exceptional quality. This is done in service of its customers for their maximum satisfaction.
I hope you enjoyed reading my story and the history of my makers. There’s a lot more to nutty people than we give them credit for ;) Thank you for your time.
Before you leave, please do shop with us. We can only say so much about our standards and quality, but our products are our proof.
You can shop on this site or visit any of our outlets mentioned below.
Thank you and have a wonderful, nutty day!
Achal caters to its retail customers through its 3 retail outlets
Hotel Roopa Building
Mangalore - 575 001.
"Aura", The Place
Chilimbi, Kulur Ferry Road Karnataka
Mangalore - 575 006.
Phone: 0824-2455447, 0824-4270077
Ground floor, Sunkada Chikanna Complex,
Loop Lane, Opposite Race Course Road,
Next to Hotel Maurya,
Bangalore - 560 009.
Mangaluru – 575 006
0824 - 2454021
Achal Group Of Industries, 190, Industrial Area, Baikampady,
Mangalore- 575 011,
0824 – 2408187FAX
0824 – 2408487