Pink Foods, cocoa, Uganda (producer)
After inheriting a farm in Western Uganda, Stephen Sembuya decided to venture into the chocolate business with his business partner, Felix Okuye. Their plan was to support the community, by asking ten local farmers to join them in cocoa production.
Pink Foods was registered as a business in 2014 and the partners invested all of their savings into the new venture. With Stephen as CEO, Felix as Executive Director and his wife, Mildred as Production Manager, they also employed an Operations Manager and a Farm Manager.
Determined to create a chocolate business with full control of the supply chain from production to packaging, Stephen and Felix taught themselves how to process the cocoa into the finished product by watching YouTube videos created by Hershey’s (a leading chocolate manufacturer in North America.)
“Through trial and error, we managed to get the process right and came up with our own brand of chocolate called
Uganda. We currently sell the chocolate and chocolate powder locally to hotels, restaurants and supermarkets in our capital city of Kampala. In future, we would like to
expand internationally but fist we needed to invest in the machinery required to meet demand, which is why we approached Shared Interest.”
THE CHOCOLATE THAT EMPOWERS UGANDANS
Thanks to Shared Interest investors, Pink Foods has been able to purchase the processing machines and other essential
equipment they need. The machinery is fully automated, energy efficient, and has a temperature gauge that is adjustable to
bean quality. There is also a pressing unit, which has allowed Pink Foods to introduce cocoa butter as a brand new product. Other equipment includes a drum roaster, husk remover, bean crusher and grinder, as well as cleaning, weighing and packaging facilities. This means that Pink Foods has the capacity to process 150kg chocolate, 1,000kg cocoa butter, and 1,000kg of cocoa powder per hour.
Once the machines and new factory are fully installed, the staff who had previously been hand sorting will work on the farms. This is more advantageous as they are able to spend more time working on their cocoa trees, as well as growing other crops
for subsistence, such as bananas and vegetables.
You can read the full article in QR 109 here.