While we’re on the subject of cocoa (see my previous post) I had an opportunity recently to photograph the work of Uganda’s first and only chocolate producer, Pink Foods Industries. While farmers have been cultivating cocoa in this East African nation for decades, Pink Foods is the first Ugandan company to process the beans into a finished consumer product. My client, Shared Interest, is financing the expansion of the company into a bigger processing center. As a fair trade ethical investment firm, Shared Interest was certainly more concerned with seeing the people behind the product, rather than the product itself. Once these pods are harvested, they’re split open to reveal a white, sweet, fleshy fruit, delicious to the taste, enveloping the cocoa beans. Many farmers make a habit of savoring this fruit as they work. Once this sweet flesh is removed, the beans are spread out in the sun, fermented, roasted,[…]Read More
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Cocoa Farming in Indonesia
Here’s some recent stills shot for the Millennium Challenge Corporation on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. These showcase the organization’s triumphs in strengthening the nation’s cocoa value chain through the Green Prosperity Project. Various scenery from the island shot from a plane, boat and/or airport is also included.Read More
From Beans to Bank – Mt. Elgon, Uganda
Who knew that growing quality coffee was such a difficult task? In fact, cultivating a quality coffee plot can take an entire generation to perfect. So how do small farmers with limited capital and capacity ever compete in such a market? Are they doomed to sell poor-quality beans (ones that will eventually be used for low-grade instant coffee) for next to nothing, or can they polish their growing practices enough to make a pretty penny selling to the likes of Illy and Starbucks? Lutheran World Relief’s intervention throughout the coffee growing world strengthens small, local coffee cooperatives in a number of ways, to include providing access to finance and processing equipment. In the above video, however, it’s the intervention of the Community Knowledge Worker that is highlighted. These CKWs, who are trained by LWR, move from farm to farm and work up close with small farmers themselves, advising them and[…]Read More