Latitude buys its beans in Bundibugyo, a region in western Uganda. The border region near Congo is not only known for its high cocoa yields, but unfortunately also for its low household incomes. Latitude believes there must be a better way. The young company offers farmers prices that are 50% higher than the major cocoa producing countries of Ghana and Cote d’ Ivoire.
The farmers harvest their beans from September to February on plantations of one to three hectares. But their income has to pay for food and their children’s tuition for the entire year. Latitude ensures that farmers have enough financial resources year-round. For example, farmers can apply for microcredit during the off season and pay it back during the peak season.
But Latitude doesn’t just help farmers earn more; the company also ensures that they’re insured as well. They arrange for training in financial administration. And they introduce farmers to organic farming methods and innovative growing technologies. All to give farmers an opportunity to structurally improve their work and income and provide their families with a stable future.
Latitude processes the beans into the highest quality cocoa, and buyers are noticing. Their product earned a place among the top 50 at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris. And the bars Latitude crafts from the cocoa won a bronze medal at the Academy of Chocolate Awards. Another benefit? Higher quality earns a higher price. And the farmers pluck the fruits of that effort.
Rabo Foundation and Latitude
Why have we joined forces with Latitude? Because we share the company’s vision. Latitude works to make the cocoa sector stronger and fairer. The company processes the cocoa domestically, which is good for the local economy while contributing to a more sustainable production chain. Latitude also offers farmers a good price, knowledge of better agricultural techniques – and with it a brighter future.
Delicious chocolate for a fair income. The chocolate bars by Latitude not only look cheerful; they also offer Ugandan cocoa farmers a better income – and a better life! Curious how they taste?