The economies of most of Sub-Saharan Africa are agriculture-based. Uganda is one of the four countries, after Italy, Indonesia, and Morocco, where certified organic farming is wide-spread. Until 2012, 1.32% of the agricultural land of Uganda (231,157 ha) was certified accordingly which has been increased to 262,282 ha by 20182. Resilient environment, availability of natural resources, and agricultural diversity are the core assets of the country, which make it an ‘organic land’.
Products like cocoa and vanilla have steady demand but clients increasingly also request traceable supply chains from the production of crops to the processing and packing of final products. Processors would benefit from further processing crops into value-added products but lack the technical skills and knowledge on processing according to internationally recognized quality control and food safety standards.
Within the project framework, Gourmet Gardens Ltd. aims to create a skilled workforce and a sustainable supply chain for cocoa production and processing by providing training to 800 cocoa farmers and by training 42 young workers and interns in cocoa processing, of which the majority will be young women. In particular, the company will train and facilitate farmers in organic farming practices and organic certification requirements and assist them in obtaining organic certification, and will train young workers and interns on primary and secondary cocoa processing and quality management.
The project partner Hansens Flødeis ApS (HI) will cooperate and assist to establish ISO 22000 and HACCP food safety standards to assure that production adheres to international standards. A total of 640 farmers will sign cocoa supply contracts with GG and 6 of the trained young workers and interns will receive employment through the project.