Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Many customers ask us all sorts of questions. The following information covers the most frequently asked questions including, Pakka’s definition of fairtrade, the range of our products and tips on how to order.
Of course you are most welcome to ask any additional questions using the dialogue window below. We try our best to give you a speedy response!
What exactly does “fairtrade” stand for ?
Fair trade is a strategy for poverty reduction which was initiated nearly 30 years ago in order to support people in developing countries. The higher prices which are paid for fairtrade products ensure a sufficient income for the producers, contributing to a considerable improvement of their living conditions.
Not only are education and healthcare projects established but the underlying infrastructure is also improved. Child labour is strictly banned so that children have the opportunity to go to school and improve their start in life rather than having to earn money on the fields and plantations. Fairtrade criteria exist for many products from the South and include basic social, ecological as well as economical minimum standards.
The Max Havelaar seal-of-approval – what exactly does it stand for?
The Max Havelaar seal of approval is awarded to products which are traded under fair circumstances. The initial goal of the Max Havelaar foundation was to continue with the efforts of the fairtrade pioneers; to try to ensure that the products were no longer niche products but rather available from large retailers. Products with the Max Havelaar certification are traded under the directive of the International Standards of Fairtrade Labelling Organization (FLO). The certification stands for :
- Guaranteed minimum prices
- Longterm trade relations
- Fair working conditions
- Environmentally friendly production
The Max Havelaar seal of approval is the only label which guarantees that the fixed premium is bound for social projects.
Who awards the certificate and who monitors compliance with the standards?
The independent controlling body FLO Cert GmbH (Fairtrade Labelling Organization International) is responsible for the certification of the producers; they are responsible for regularly monitoring compliance with the fairtrade criteria as well as licensing of the importers and the control of the flow of goods.
The small farmers’ cooperatives and the workers on the plantations, who are producing in compliance with the fairtrade criteria, are listed in producers’ registers and are reviewed on a regular basis by knowledgeable local consultants.
Fairtrade Cashews – does that make sense?
Yes, by all means! Cashews come a long way from the far South to us in the North. The social circumstances as well as the working conditions at their places of origin cannot be compared to European standards. The purchasing of fairtrade raw materials at fixed minimum prices ensures that the pressure from the global market – due to a lack of alternatives – does not have an exploitative impact on the producers. In addition, fair trade supports the sustainability of biodiversity in the sense that the farmers are encouraged to keep and look after their cashew trees rather than giving in to immediate gratification and replacing the trees by more lucrative cultivation plants.
Cashews from India – what makes them so unique?
Since the cashew from Southern India – with its unique size – is a very desirable nut for the Indian upper-classes, it very rarely makes its way to the European markets. Therefore, our large and whole cashews are really precious.
The harvest of these cashews only make up 19% of the total crop. As a general rule: the larger the kernel, the fewer there are in the total yield.
The nut that we are processing is the second largest on the scale division. Furthermore, the cashews from the region of Malabar are highly sought after for their refined taste thanks to the climatic conditions of the region and the Laterit soil. These cashews have a particularly high mineral nutrient content and contain unsaturated fatty acids, which the human body cannot produce by itself. Furthermore, they are ideal for an alkaline diet.
How do cashews grow?
Cashews grow on trees. The fruit of the cashew tree has an apple-like shape and the cashew nut grows at the bottom of the fruit. In a very strict biological sense, a cashew is not a nut but rather a kernel. However, in culinary language one sticks to the term “nut“”.
What are the relatively high cost factors of the cashews?
The Pakka cashews are doubly certified. The fairtrade raw materials are purchased at fixed minimum prices, which however can vary according to the harvest – meaning supply and demand. Raw materials from organic farming are more expensive than conventionally farmed materials. This expense can be justified because it not only protects but also sustains precious agro ecology systems. Furthermore, the cashews are cracked, peeled and sorted by hand in a labour-intensive process; once they arrive in Switzerland they are then roasted by hand, seasoned and packaged.
Not all the products are doubly certified. Why?
Most Pakka products are organic certified and labelled with the Max Havelaar fairtrade seal of approval. It is important to note that even though some products may lack the respective certification, they are nevertheless traded under fair conditions; we still bought these raw materials at fair prices. This is part of our philosophy and an essential criterion when choosing our partners. Wherever possible, we fully support our partners in their efforts to receive the required certifications.
Is there a minimum order quantity?
Yes. The minimum order quantity is one packaging unit.
Please note with our smallest packets (30gr), the minimum order quantity is an entire box (24 x 30gr).
What are the delivery costs?
We charge CHF 9.- for each order. Delivery is free of charge for orders from CHF 150.- (185.- for retailers).
What size of packets can I order Pakka cashews?
In 30gr packets for a small snack or for the HoReCa sector; in 100gr-packets, suitable for gifts or your own consumption; in larger 450gr-packets for those who have already discovered our delicious cashews and cannot resist them. And we have more and more fans every day…!
What is the shelf-life of cashews?
We produce at regular intervals in order to guarantee that your purchased product is fresh and tasty. From the date of production the minimum shelf-life is 10 months. You will find the best-before date on the packet.