We are a mission-driven social enterprise.
Peppers like ours have rich histories and long legacies. When we started UCHU we knew the only way to build our business was with respect for the land and the people involved. We believe that what is best for people and the planet is also what is best for our business.
Our mission is threefold:
Peppers. We produce a flavorful and wide variety of peppers, with traditions rooted in the land.
People. We support the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, providing guidance in improving quality, yields, as well as responsible agriculture.
Planet. We promote sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices that enhance the soil, water and surrounding environment.
The Seed Lab
The Seed Lab was started in order to help preserve and improve the pepper varieties grown on our farms. It is based at UCHU’s 130 acre-farm in Central Ecuador, where we conduct field research on our peppers and cultivate all our varieties to keep their heritage and flavor alive.
Unlike many other farming establishments, we do not work with hybrids: all our peppers are open-pollinated varieties and we currently grow over 15 different pepper varieties, some of which have been directly selected from the wild.
In our Seed Lab, we grow out true-to-type stock plants from the highest quality mother plants, and from those we are constantly selecting and collecting the best seeds available.
The selected plants guarantee that our farmers will grow and produce healthy and genetically-pure plants, and our customers will get a natural, unmodified product that conforms with all the specs of a given variety.
We Train Smallholder Farmers!
At UCHU we offer a wide range of agricultural and technical trainings that help our farmers become the best at what they do, generate sustainable livelihoods and care for the land with sustainable practices. Training opportunities are held on a weekly basis, and we also train farmers in their own fields.
Farmers receive training on Good Agricultural Practices (AGP), which includes disease and pest guidelines, fertilization planning, and phytosanitary control.
By the Numbers:
In 2018 we worked with approximately 400 farmers.
30% were female producers.
20% were senior citizens.
In total 2,000 people work together to produce our high quality chili pepper products!