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The Semuliki Forest, Bundibugyo, Western Uganda, – a dense rainforest area at the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains (known as the Mountains of the Moon) with an altitude of around 2820 ft above sea level. A lush rainy area, prime for growing cocoa in a biodiverse enviroment.

{{ Who: Safuroza Butamanya, Latitude Craft Chocolate Cocoa Supplier {+} Growing: Cocoa {+} Where: Bundibugyo, Western Uganda }}


Safuroza Butamanya has been farming cocoa for the past 35 years – she’s a cocoa expert and Latitude are thrilled that she’s been working with them since they started in 2016. Safuroza’s farm is large for the area, she has three acres, and along with cocoa she also plants bananas, cassava and other food crops. There are seven people in her household, and selling cocoa is the family’s main source of income – something that is common in the community.

[The problem]

Previously, payment for Safuroza’s cocoa would often be late, which meant that she struggled to pay for school fees and her children were unable to attend school. Households would get into debt and they would be unable to make adequate improvements to their farms and homes and prices for cocoa would fluctuate, creating uncertainty in the community.

[The solution]

The way Safuroza sold cocoa changed in 2016 when Latitude started working with farmers in Western Uganda. For several years founder, Jeff Steinberg, worked with organizations to measure social impact and became fascinated with the idea of a company that could sustainably support thousands of rural African farmers on a day-to-day basis. The team discovered a gap in the market for quality Ugandan cocoa and, through a willingness to learn and experiment, decided to build an industry from scratch to focus on just this – looking to establish a new reputation for quality Ugandan cocoa and to re-define an origin.

Latitude’s aim is to create a sustainable supply chain, which serves both farmers and chocolate companies. Latitude source fresh cocoa directly from contracted smallholder organic certified farmers – farmers harvest cocoa from their farms in the morning, and carry it on foot to their nearest Latitude collection point. Latitude pay cash on delivery at the advertised price and issue receipts to the farmer, helping these households can turn their hard-earned income into wealth. Safuroza was one of the first 350 registered farmers who took a chance on working with Latitude, and is still at the core of their supplier group. Since they’ve been working together, Safuroza has been able to build a new house and now has no problem with paying her children’s school fees.

[How we’re helping]

Latitude are always looking at ways to help mitigate risk for the farmers they work with. Buying fresh cocoa directly from farmers at dedicated collection points reduces costs of transport, labour, bags and processing, as well as reducing risk of theft and spoilage. Latitude farmers not only earn a premium price of 15-20% above local average prices, but also receive training and support on cocoa agronomy, organic practices and financial literacy. Each farm is routinely inspected by company staff to ensure compliance with the company’s social, environmental and sustainability standards. All cocoa is traceable through the company’s digital supply chain which starts right from this face- to-face purchase.

[Invitation to join us]

We’re excited to partner with Latitude Craft Chocolate and bring the unique flavors of Uganda to you in a fun accessible, tasty and creative way.

We hope that you join them in their effort to build a chocolate industry from scratch at origin in Uganda!