Post Tagged with: "fairtrade"

First Chocolate from Uganda

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,[…]

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Fair Trade Cash Crops

Who says money doesn’t grow on trees? I recently visited several villages in Burkina Faso and Kenya where the primary sources of livelihood fall from the sky, later to be collected from the ground and sold on the market – macadamia and shea nuts. Okay, it’s not always quite that easy, especially for shea nuts, which must go through a rigorous production process, shown below, to be made into a marketable product like shea nut butter or shea nut oil. The photographs shown here were taken for Shared Interest, an investment company in the UK financing fair trade growers and producers in the developing world. They are copyrighted, so please don’t use them without permission.

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Coffee from the Mountains of the Moon

On my whirlwind five-day trip to Uganda last month I managed to cover a lot of ground in both the east and west of the country. Squeezed between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya, Uganda may look like a dwarf on the map, but it’s actually more than double the size of my home state of Virginia. Combining that with some poor road conditions means it can take 12 hours or more to get from one side to the other. Bukonzo Organic Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union (BOCU) is a fair trade coffee producer based in the town of Kasese, Uganda. Its coffee farmers, however, grow their crop in the nearby Rwenzori Mountains. Shared Interest invests in BOCU and other fair trade producers around the globe. The Rwenzori Mountains were known to the ancient world as the Mountains of Moon for their snow-capped white peaks. (Sadly there’s little of these[…]

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