ORIGIN TYPE: Other what’s this?, Established 2013
Owners, Brian LoBue and Simran Bindra, have backgrounds in international development throughout East and Southern Africa. While starting the Kokoa Kamili Cooperative they focused on three principles fundamental to the work: Tanzanian cocoa has the potential to be amongst the best in the world, cocoa has the power to drastically improve small shareholder farmers’ incomes, and always considering the question of implications of cocoa in economic development in the region and community. Kokoa Kamili currently works with approximately 2,500 small shareholder farmers, most of whom farm between 0.5-2 acres of cocoa. Kokoa Kamili pays a premium--well above the market rate--to farmers for their ‘wet’ cocoa, and conducts its own fermentation and drying. By taking over the fermentation and drying process, Kokoa Kamili can produce more consistently higher quality cocoa beans. This method gives farmers a reduced workload, along with greater compensation, and the farmers are paid immediately after the cooperative receives its wet beans. The catchment area borders the Udzungwa Mountains National Park, an area known for its abundance of bird and mammal wildlife. It is most famous for the eleven different primate species, bird life, and is one of three remaining sites that support Savannah Elephants in a mountainous environment. Current estimates of 2,000 elephants reside in and around the Udzungwa area. Harvest Season: Main season: June-November; Peak season August-November. Low harvest volumes November-June.
PRODUCTION CAPACITY: 50-80 metric tons/year
OTHER CROPS: -
PROJECTED PRODUCTION CAPACITY NEXT YEAR: 80-100 metric tons/year
Kokoa Kamili, in the Kilombero Valley of Tanzania, works to support three fundamental principles. These principles are that Tanzanian cocoa has the potential to be amongst the best in the world, cocoa has the power to drastically improve small shareholder farmer’s income, and always considering the question of implications of cocoa in economic development in the region and community. Owners Brian LoBue and Simran Bindra use these fundamentals to create both socially responsible and quality controlled cocoa, working with over 2,500 small shareholder farmers.
Prior to Kokoa Kamili’s Cooperative a single buyer dominated the area – the local arm of one of the world’s largest soft commodity trading houses. A sole buyer meant it had the power to set the price for cocoa, and farmers had little alternatives. Historically, farmers in the Kilombero Valley received some of the lowest prices for cocoa in the country. In Kokoa Kamili’s first year alone Kilombero farmers received the highest prices in Tanzania for their cocoa.
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