Esco Uganda Today
Our main focus is to enable farmers to produce exportable cash crops which they can supply to Esco Uganda for processing and export to its customers worldwide. Currently we have processing factories for cocoa, vanilla and chillies in Western and Central Uganda.
Through years of work supporting local farmers and communities we now have more than 100 full-time staff and are linked with over 20,000 farmers. Our emphasis is in working with these small-holder farmers, to enable them to achieve higher quality and productivity of export crops on a long-term, sustainable basis.
We have enabled the planting of 10 million cocoa and shade trees or over 9,000 Ha of previously unproductive land.
Our impact goes deeper than just our employees, farmers and their families; being able to invest in the long term future of an area uplifts whole communities. Read more on our impact.
Esco has an expanding team of field staff which trains farmers in good agricultural practices for good sustainable yields and long-term profits. We aim to pay farmers fair prices so that they can all prosper and grow, not just the fortunate few. We have been able to make a significant impact due to our long-standing relationship with communities.
Esco Uganda Ltd. is a company with a long history in East Africa; established in 1956 in Uganda under the name Edm. Schluter & Co. Ltd and rebranding to Esco Uganda Ltd in 1994.
We originally focused on the export of washed Robusta coffee but Esco has since become one of the largest exporters of certified organic cocoa and vanilla, forming the bridge between smallholder farmers and export markets. We have been serving the Cocoa and Vanilla export sector in Uganda since 1999.
From small beginnings the company grew, and our vision of expanding Uganda’s cocoa and vanilla exports became a reality with the support of our customers who range from large multinationals to specialty chocolatiers making single origin chocolate.
The main cocoa production facility is in Bundibugyo, Western Uganda. Since most of Uganda’s cocoa is produced in Bundibugyo alone, Esco Uganda has also been promoting cocoa in Kagadi and Mayuge for 11 years by providing seed, potting bags, and training in nursery management and planting. With assistance from GIZ, AgDevCo and others, and as part of the Uganda Cocoa Association (UCA) and the vanilla exporters association (VANEX), Esco plans to leverage additional donor funding to enable more farmers to grow these crops profitably.
Our vanilla curing facility was established in Ntenjeru, Mukono, East of Kampala, in 2000 as this was the epicentre of vanilla production in Uganda at that time. Vanilla is now grown all over Uganda, particularly in Kasese district, but all the green vanilla is brought to Ntenjeru for processing into cured vanilla for export.
Our core values include taking responsibility, having personal integrity and being rewarded according to merit. We work closely with local and international organisations to support farmers in Uganda and continually reinvest in the community through our charitable and humanitarian efforts.