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Bolivia: Value added sesame products

General information
Project location: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Consortium: Organic Assistance BV, Latco International SRL
Project Budget: € 1,166,350
External financing: PSI
Project period: July 2011 - December 2013

Organic Assistance is a Dutch company active in the European organic food production and trade. Its subsidiary DO-IT is a leading importer and exporter of 100% organic food ingredients and consumer products based on long-term relations with its suppliers in the sourcing countries. Since 2005, the company is buying organic sesame seeds from Latco International, Bolivia’s largest sesame exporter. Latco is sourcing sesame seeds from its outgrowers’ scheme, which comprises some 1200 smallholder contract farmers, and operates cleaning and grading facilities as well as a hulling line.

The project invests in a processing plant to produce 1) sesame paste, 2) sesame oil, 3) sesame flour and 4) retail-packed sesame seeds for export to Europe, North America, Japan, other Asian countries and Latin America. The plant is equipped with advanced selection and sorting machinery, a laboratory for quality control and a climate-controlled store for finished products. The joint venture’s operations are certified according to international food safety, organic, fair trade and social accountability standards. Furthermore, the project includes establishment of two sesame collection and pre-cleaning centres in joint venture with communities as a pilot in view of a roll out after the project.

The project provides direct employment to 32 persons and indirect employment to some 750 farmers.

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