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More than 80 percent of rural Bolivians live in poverty, and most of those people rely on subsistence agriculture by nurturing small plots of land with little yield.
LATCO International, a producer and exporter of organic sesame seeds, was created to increase small-scale farmers’ incomes and improve their livelihoods. By sourcing alternative crops from small-scale farmers, LATCO provides a stable and growing income to those who have traditionally depended on growing corn, rice, and sorghum for the volatile local market. LATCO is a pioneer in the organic production of sesame seeds in Bolivia, and is the first company to introduce new varieties of the grain, such as black sesame seeds. It is also the first Bolivian enterprise to penetrate the Japanese and U.S. markets with these products.
LATCO's Partnership with GBF
Through grants and a long term investment, GBF is contributing toLATCO’s growth and social impact. GBF’s investment has enabled LATCO to acquire new equipment for the production of value-added hulled sesame seeds and transportation vehicles to improve its distribution logistics. These acquisitions are expected to lead to higher sales and an increased operating margin. GBF is also providing technical assistance to LATCO to support the company
LATCO's Performance and Impact
Thanks to the high quality of its product, LATCO is able to negotiate the highest sales price among its peers, and it transfers the price gains to the farmers participating in its value chain. In addition to this “fair pricing” policy, LATCO is committed to improving the quality of life of its employees and the families of participating farmers. LATCO provides its suppliers with technical support in responsible crop management; assistance in transitioning to organic production and obtaining certification; and working capital financing. It uses a portion of its profits to sponsor infrastructure projects in farmers’ communities.
Click to visit LATCO's website.