From bean to bar: how ethical investment helps create Ugandan chocolate.
Investment from Shared Interest has helped Pink Foods transform cocoa farming in Africa.
When Stephen Ssembuya inherited a farm in Western Uganda from his father, he asked one simple question: why don’t we make chocolate in Africa?
Over 70 per cent of the world’s cocoa beans come from African countries, before being shipped out to manufacturers elsewhere, but Stephen saw no reason why the harvested cocoa had to leave the country. And Pink Foods was born.
“Right now farmers are providing cocoa for terrible prices. It is exported thousands of miles for multinationals to process and sell it for high prices,” Stephen said.
Stephen saw the value of keeping the precious cocoa crop on the continent, from bean to bar, packaging, marketing and transporting. He wanted to create jobs right along the supply chain. And with a little help from ethical investors Shared Interest, has managed to do just that. Along with his business partner Felix Okuye, Stephen invited ten local farmers to join Pink Foods in the first year.