Madécasse Chocolate is one of the newest additions to Just Fair Trade’s growing range of chocolate. Not only is the cocoa grown in Madagascar, but it’s also transformed into chocolate and packaged on the island which adds enormous financial value to the cocoa growers and chocolate producers.
Madécasse’s founders take up the story:
We were Peace Corps volunteers in Madagascar. We fell in love with the people and the country and wanted to do more. So we started making chocolate there. Even though 70% of the world’s cocoa comes from Africa, no one had ever really done this before. We were convinced that making finished products in Africa was the key to real change. Our experience making chocolate there confirmed it. So we started making vanilla, too. And the next chapter began.
We are a social enterprise. We measure success by the quality of our product and our social impact in Africa.
200 miles off the coast of Africa, on the island of Madagascar, exists some of the world’s last genetically pure cocoa. Chocolate made from this heirloom cocoa is so flavorful; it’s like discovering chocolate for the very first time. This is the cocoa we use to make Madécasse Chocolate.
Our social impact
Did you know that Africa grows 70% of the world’s cocoa, yet produces less than 1% of the world’s chocolate? This is true of many other crops, as well. Africa grows 65% of the world’s vanilla and produces less than 1% of the world’s vanilla extract. These are eye-opening statistics which explain how a continent so rich in raw materials, can remain so poor.
Madécasse exists to change this by making chocolate entirely in Africa.
How? We start by empowering Madagascar’s cocoa farmers with skills training and higher wages. We source other ingredients locally in Madagascar, too. Then we actually make our chocolate on the island. So far, we’ve created meaningful income for over 200 people in Madagascar – from chocolate making, to packaging production, to the farming of the cocoa, spices, and fruits.
We stand in proud contrast to the established practices of the chocolate industry, which has remained virtually unchanged for centuries.
Our environmental impact
Isolated from mainland Africa, 85% of Madagascar’s plants and animals exist nowhere else. The island’s naturally organic forests are home to 80 species of lemurs, over 1,000 orchids, and innumerable other plants and animals.
Fragile cocoa trees also live here. We protect 70,000 of them through sustainable cocoa farming. This amounts to 250 acres of forests that provide a safe haven to over 65 species of plants and animals.
As we grow, cocoa farms and the precious forest grow. The result is a sustainable livelihood for farmers and a thriving ecosystem for endangered plants and animals.
Just Fair Trade buys Madécasse Chocolate from Traidcraft who are committed to supplying the best of fair trade to shops, supermarkets and individuals. We love them!
Taken from the Madécasse Chocolate website.