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EditPhoto Title:Chocolate Company Offers Madagascar Farmers Sweet Deal
EditPhoto Description:A loan from CI’s Verde Ventures helps chocolate maker Madécasse and local farmers profit from sustainably grown cacao
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EditImage Description:Cacao pods from Ambanja, Madagascar
EditPhoto Credit:© Madécasse
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In Madagascar, 80% of people are small farmers who grow crops like rice, vanilla and cacao.

In fact, more than 70% of the world’s cacao is grown throughout Africa, but only about 18% is processed there — thereby limiting the potential economic benefit for the communities that grow the crop.


Our role

Promoting sustainable business practices is a key element to conserving the unique habitats of Madagascar, where there are very few sustainable economic opportunities for rural populations. Working in the northern region of the country, Madécasse produces fine chocolate and vanilla products grown in the area adjacent to the Tsaratanana Nature Reserve. The company sources its products from highly diverse shade-grown cacao plantations, and it is the only bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer in Madagascar. In 2012, Conservation International’s Verde Ventures program provided a US$ 275,000 loan and technical support to Madécasse to support the company’s expansion efforts in Madagascar.


Our plan

With the help of Verde Ventures, Madécasse directly supports local farmers by providing training and equipment that improves product quality and yields — in addition to purchasing cocoa at a premium. Madécasse is one of the only companies in Madagascar that also processes the cocoa into chocolate before it leaves the country. Keeping many aspects of the supply chain in country helps ensure that jobs and production knowledge stay in Madagascar, while also incentivizing sustainable methods of forest farming.


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EditImage Alt Text:A recent rediscovery of pure ancient line criollo cacao in Madagascar holds promise of revolutionizing the fine chocolate industry. Here, Elias, Cocoma Ag. Extensionist, explaining cacao varietal differences.
EditTitle:By the numbers
EditSubtitle:125 farmers
EditText:Madécasse supports more than 125 farmers from four cooperatives and ensures the sustainable management of 400 hectares adjacent to the Tsaratanana and Monongarivo Forest Reserves.
EditPhoto Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Curan Bonham
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