Esco Kivu Today
Despite the challenge of insecurity and poor roads, Esco Kivu's team have managed to certify many thousands of farmers as organic, FFL and UTZ and increase production to turn cocoa into the primary export crop of Eastern Congo.
We now have cocoa processing facilities in Beni and Nobili as well as a cinchona mill in Butembo and a new papain extraction unit in Bulongo.
Our impact goes deeper than just our employees, farmers and their families; being able to invest in long term futures and creating stability uplifts whole communities. Read more on our impact.
Our amazing staff deliver all the good work we do and one of our core values includes developing a strong and well-structured professional team.
From our field agronomists, buying staff and transport team to our processing, finance and export departments,
Esco Kivu is a major development player in North Kivu employing more than 230 staff from diverse backgrounds, promoting freedom of association and paying salaries above the minimum wage of the region.
Our other important people are our farmers! Read more about our impact here.
Cocoa was introduced to Congo in the 19th century under the Europeans; with 20,000 Ha planted along the Congo river. These plantations collapsed in the 1970's and Esco Kivu introduced cocoa to Eastern Congo in the early 2000's.
We also have a long history in East Africa, established in 1956 in Uganda under the name Edm Schluter & Co. Ltd. Schluter-Congo was established in 1970 and focused primarily on sourcing coffee from Eastern Congo. After the decimation of coffee due to coffee wilt disease in the 1990's, the company switched its focus to promoting cocoa production amongst smallholder farmers under its new name 'Esco Kivu'.
Collecting papain in the 1970's
As a long-standing family business 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 Congo and continually reinvest in the community through continued farmer training and our charitable and humanitarian efforts.
The Esco vision is for an African-led approach to create an organisation that remains at the forefront in creating thriving and vibrant cocoa, vanilla, cinchona, papain, moringa and chilli sectors in East Africa.